Last week the Leader and Deputy Leader of South Gloucestershire Council took on a mammoth bike ride in aid of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Cllr Toby Savage and Cllr Jon Hunt decided to test themselves by attempting an incredible 230km across the area.

During the ride the pair visited every single school in South Gloucestershire, 121 in total.

The challenge on February 7/8 was made all the more difficult after a Yellow Weather Warning was issued for strong winds and icy rain.

Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council and cabinet member for schools, skills and employment, said: “This ride was the most challenging physical feat I have ever put myself through - but if it wasn’t going to be hard, it wouldn’t be worth doing!

“Work to improve mental health is very important as it coincides with the Council’s number one priority of improving school standards. We want to see every child achieving their full potential and so it has been very encouraging to speak to so many students and members of staff about what is being done to support and improve good mental health in South Gloucestershire schools.”

Toby and Jon only started training for the event one month ago but were supported by reigning Paralympic, World and European Triathlon Champion Andy Lewis MBE.

Cllr Savage’s thoughts were echoed by his deputy Jon, who added: “Ensuring good mental health is so important, particularly when it comes to young people.

“One in four people with have a mental health issue in their lifetime, with 75 per cent of mental health issues having been established by the age of 18, so the sooner we can do something about it, the better results they can have in later life.”

Sponsorship to support the ride was made by South Gloucestershire-based aerospace firm GKN, with a donation being made to Place2Be. Thanks also goes to the Cycle Route in Downend for offering a service to the bikes being used by the councillors.