Cyclists' Italian job brings home the cash

PUBLISHED: 15:02 15 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:02 15 April 2013

The Slow Ride to Turin team pictued before setting off from Axminster. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mha 3630-42-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

The Slow Ride to Turin team pictued before setting off from Axminster. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mha 3630-42-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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'Slow ride to Turin' in memory of Axminster chef 'Pip' Corbin raised more than £65,000 to help fight depression

An 800-mile sponsored cycle ride from Axminster to Italy has raised more than £65,000 to help fight depression.

Some 30 people took part in the trip to Turin in memory of Uplyme woman Philippa ‘Pip’ Corbin, the River Cottage chef who took her own life, aged 27, last year.

This week her mother Pam revealed that “an incredible” £64,911.89 had been collected so far – with gift aid funding still to be added.

The money will go to The Human Givens Foundation and The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, both of which focus on helping to prevent/relieve the overwhelming pain of depression and anxiety.

Said Pam: “We are thrilled, and this amazing total exceeds far more than we had ever imagined we would raise. Those who followed the journey on our website www.slowridetoturin.co.uk will have concluded it was extraordinarily special in so many ways. “We were blessed in countless ways - the weather, the camaraderie of the 28 cyclists, the amazing places we stayed, the lovely food and meals we all shared and a safe journey for everyone to Turin.

“The most moving time for me was the route from Chambery to Col de Cenis, three breathtaking days of a cloudless Alpine Autumn, where it seemed we had the road to ourselves and everything was bathed in a golden light, sunflowers, golden vines, vivid yellow leaves, sun-peaked mountains and finally, on the last morning, the yellow shuttered chapel on the mountainside.

“That same day, yet 60 miles later, our stream of yellow ducklings pedalled their way through the busy streets of Turin to arrive safely, and on time at The Lingotta Building. Two days later there was snow on our Alpine route, we wouldn’t have made it then, quietly affirming the journey was meant to be. “

Pam added: “None of this would have happened but for the influence and inspirations of Philly who loved nothing more than to have an adventure with her friends and share some good food. “But also, we could not have made this journey so successfully without everyone’s support. Thank you for sharing and making this journey possible - we know Philly would have loved it.”

Pam and her husband Hugh were amongst the support team for the ride, which included Uplyme Vicar Rev Gavin Tyte.

He said: “One of my best school friends took his own life. He suffered with depression. So many of my friends and colleagues struggle with the illness and it is so important that we raise awareness of this condition. Let’s talk about it and let’s get help to those who need it. There is hope – real hope.”

Journalist and broadcaster Alastair Campbell also supported the fundraising ride.

In a message before they set off he said: “Depression is an illness of which there is insufficient understanding. Philippa’s death underlined how painful the condition can be in extreme cases, and the devastation it can bring.

“As someone who gets depression myself, I wish them all the very best in their bike ride, their fundraising, and their keeping Philippa’s memory alive.”

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