As part of Samaritans’ annual awareness day 24:7, volunteers from Coleraine and District Branch are preparing for the arrival of David Exley (right), a Samaritans volunteer, who is motorcycling around the UK and Ireland to raise awareness of the charity.
Ballymoney, being the obvious home of Motorcycling in the NW will be the venue for David’s celebration before he makes his way to Coleraine Branch itself at Lodge Road.
David is being welcomed to the Borough with a reception at Ballymoney Mayors parlour by Lady Mayor, Evelyn Robinson and the Mayor of Coleraine, Cllr Sam Cole as well as the CEO from Limavady and Moyle districts.
Local motorcycling stars including William Dunlop, Paul Robinson, Ryan Farquhar, Ian Lougher will gather at Joeys Bar to welcome David to Joeys Bar as he makes his way through the town . These stars and many others including Eamon Loughram and Cathal Mc Monigle of NI and world championship boxing fame, Stephen Carson and Oran Kearney, NI Football and Ian Walker of NI volleyball & GAA All-star Liam Watson will be joined by volunteers from Samaritans from all over NI and beyond, the Dunlop family and Mervyn Whyte & John Wilson from the NW 200 as well as our very own Liam Beckett .
This is a public event and Samaritans welcome you along to join us in showing our support for David’s marathon trek…..come along and meet your local sporting heroes, chat and have your photos taken with your personal favourites. There will also be a display of sporting motorbikes, famous for their wins and riders over the years including of course a show of Dunlop bikes and many others.
Covering more than 6,000 miles on his motorbike, David will visit each of the 201 Samaritans branches, highlighting the charity’s vital 24-hour service. Sixty four-year-old David is also completing the ride in memory of his brother Tim, and son James who both sadly died by suicide.
David kick-started his engine at Worthing Samaritans on Monday 2 July, and will be on the road for seven weeks. His final pit stop will be in Cardiff, on 20 August, where he will be greeted by sponsors, Admiral insurance.
David Exley, said: “My younger brother Tim took his own life 24 years ago and tragically in 2007 my son James also ended his life. I really hope that my challenge will mean that more people will be aware of the support Samaritans offers, that way, some good can come out of what has been a very difficult time for me and my family. I am a bit nervous but am really looking forward to meeting my fellow Samaritans and celebrating the charity’s awareness day, 24:7 with them.”
Arriving at Ballymoney on Tuesday 14th August David will be welcomed by Mayor Evelyn Robinson and local Samaritan branch directors and dignitaries at 10.30am, making his way to Joey’s for 11.30am
Brendan Magee, Coleraine & District Samaritan Director “Our awareness day, 24:7, is the ideal way to raise awareness of Samaritans and David’s challenge will really help to highlight this, across the UK and Ireland. Samaritans is the only helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering support to anyone struggling to cope. And where better than Ballymoney, the undisputed home of Motorcycling. We would love to welcome as many members of the public along on the day to show our support for David and all he is doing to raise awareness of Samaritan services and indeed the need for support for those in despair or feeling suicidal.”
Visit Samaritans’ interactive map to find out when David will be at a town near you: http://www.samaritans.org/david
To donate to David’s quest to raise £10,000 for Samaritans visit: