Coast-to-coast cycle in memory of Hannah

Lydia holds up a snapsnot of herself and Hannah on reaching Land's End.  INCT 37-730-CON
Lydia holds up a snapsnot of herself and Hannah on reaching Land's End. INCT 37-730-CON

A Ballymena woman has completed a mammoth coast-to-coast cycle challenge as a tribute to her late friend.

Lydia Byrne, 21, set off from John O’Groat’s in Scotland last month for a 1000-mile plus trip to Land’s End, Cornwall.

The venture was organised to raise funds for the mental health charity Mind in memory of Hannah Armstrong, who passed away suddenly last year.

“Hannah, herself, among with hundreds of thousands of people within the United Kingdom, battled with mental health issues,” said Lydia.

“Mind UK is a charity that offers support to those who are in need of a chat, counselling or any form of help they can offer,”

The two first met during their time at Ballymena Academy, becoming firm friends through their mutual involvement with the school’s theatre productions.

Cycling was another shared, if short-lived past-time, Lydia recalls. “Hannah and I decided once to go for a cycle to Broughshane which challenged us more than it should do.

“It resulted in one of the bikes breaking and us having to hitch-hike back to Ballymena.”

And with Lydia having reached her destination on September 2, the cycle has already raised well over £2,700 for the charity.

Writing on her Facebook page, Lydia said: “To every single person who donated, thank you! Your donations are going to a fantastic cause. Mind have been in contact with me, and have described just how much work they can do with these funds and it’s astonishing.”

Donations can still be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lydia-Byrne