Bunbury residents ride to the red centre to raise awareness of mental illness

EIGHT South West residents will be undertaking the Black Dog Ride to help raise funds and awareness of mental illness and suicide.

Dale and Karen Rynvis and Mal and Maureen Watson from Bunbury are part of the South West Wild Hogs team for the fundraiser.

Sue and Steve Povee from Collie will also be participating in the ride to the red centre.

Organiser Steve And-rews began the fundraiser in 2009 when he rode to Alice Springs on his own.

Mr Andrews has experienced depression and suicide in family members and while not suffering himself, he strongly believes something needs to be done about mental illness.

The ride begins on August 17 and more than 300 people from across the country will be on a five day voyage to Alice Springs.

Mr Rynvis said five days was not a lot of time and they would be riding 600 to 700 kilometres per day to reach their destination.

The riders have the constant support of Lions Club who provide lunches and facilities for other meals.

Mr Rynvis and his riding group have already raised more than $3000 which will go to Mental Health First Aid Australia and Lifeline Australia.

He said Westpac and BHP Biliton would also help out by matching what the group raised.

Mr Rynvis said they would love to reach $5000 and anyone can help by donating to redcentre2013.everyday hero.com/au/mal or red centre2013.everyday hero.com/au/dale

South West motorbike riders Dale and Karen Rynvis with Mal and Maureen Watson.

South West motorbike riders Dale and Karen Rynvis with Mal and Maureen Watson.