Whilst on patrol in Barmouth yesterday (Sunday), PCSO Shannon from Dolgellau NPT came across dad Dion, who is taking part in a bike ride supporting Tandem Against Suicide UK.

The bike ride organiser, Xani Byrne, is riding a tandem bike around the UK in memory of his sister, Alice, who he lost to Suicide in 2022.

Xani, who was spotted in Aberystwyth last Thursday, was cycling 45 miles from Machynlleth to Portmeirion on his latest stretch of the journey, when Dion and fellow cyclists, Dave and Eoghann rode part of Xani's 88-day tandem journey around the UK coast.

The challenge, which started in May and is not due to finish until late August, will see Xani cycle 3,500 miles.

Xani is riding a tandem bike and every day is joined by a different person who has been affected by suicide.

He arrived in Aberporth last Wednesday, headed towards Aberystwyth last Thursday, where he had a rest day on Friday before setting off for Portmeirion and then on to Aberdaron over the weekend.

Xani said: “I lost my sister, Alice, to suicide in January 2022.

“Over the years we’d talked about her joining me on the back of the tandem to build up her confidence cycling around Edinburgh.

“We never made time for it. Now it’s too late and it's one of my biggest regrets.

“Since Alice's death, I've learned an enormous amount from others who have lost someone to suicide.

“On this tandem ride I'll be joined, each day, by a different person who has been affected by suicide. I want to listen to them, learn from them and to share their stories.

“People who've lost someone to suicide have important things to say, and we should all listen because suicidal thoughts and feelings can happen to anyone. You never think this kind of thing will happen to you, until it does.

“Together, I’d like to raise money and awareness for two charities that do good and important work to stop suicide and support those affected by suicide.”

Xani is raising money for PAPYRUS and and SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide)

PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.

HOPELINE247 is the charity’s confidential helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide (family members, professionals etc)

HOPELINEUK is staffed by trained professionals, offering a telephone, text and email service.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email [email protected]

Xani added: “I have attended the SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide) groups for almost a year. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from everyone who attends (people from all walks of life who have lost someone to suicide).

“In my view, only people who’ve had this devastating experience can really understand what it feels like, and SOBS gives free, monthly, face-to-face support all over the UK. People travel great distances to attend our local group. Those that have lost someone to suicide are at greater risk of suicide themselves. The SOBS groups are lifesavers. There needs to be more of them, the volunteers need support and training.

“Papyrus campaign, train people and do everything they can to prevent youth suicide. If more people accessed their training, we would surely have a public that’s better equipped to talk and support those with suicidal thoughts.

“This isn't a ride with Alice, but it is a ride for Alice, and for everyone who struggles with suicidal thoughts. “