Timaru gentlefolk to ride for mens' health

Jonty Penney from Timaru is participating in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise funds for mens' health.
DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Jonty Penney from Timaru is participating in the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise funds for mens' health.

Timaru men Jonty Penney and Richard Brown are gearing up to share the message of mens' health.

The pair are behind the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride - a combined effort to raise funds and awareness of mens' health - more specifically targeting prostate and mental health.

Co-organiser Brown lost his twin brother to suicide, and said that was a motivating factor in getting involved.

Penney said he had battled with depression all his life, and had also lost a family member to prostate cancer.

The September 24 event is known as the largest motorcycle charity event in the world, encouraging men and women to celebrate the art of being dapper while astride classic custom motorcycles.

About 70,000 people are expected to take part across the world, with about 20 riders already signed up in Timaru. 

It will be the second year the event has been staged in Timaru, after men and women dressed in suits, bow ties and the occasional kilt went for a ride in 2016.

Penney said riders would again gather at the Timaru piazza from 11.30am on Sunday, September 24.

"Anyone can join in if they want, they can register on the website.

"This year we intend to go for a short ride then a barbecue and after the barbecue we will finish with a short ride, then off to the pub," he said.

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Penney said it was important for men to keep a track of their health as they reached middle age.

"Definitely as you reach middle age, get yourself checked.

"For those suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts, seek help from friends and professionals, and talk about it." 

Anyone keen to register or get involved can find out more information at

www.gentlemansride.com

WHERE TO GET HELP

Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz

0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.

Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

 - Stuff

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