Why Ride4OCD is Important?

For many people that live with, and most significantly suffer with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), life can be a lonely isolating place. OCD can leave the sufferer totally disabled and at the mercy of their unwanted intrusive thoughts; severely impacting on their work, relationships and careers, which may come as a surprise to many when thinking of OCD.

Yet despite this, one OCD specialist Professor Paul Salkovskis, believes that OCD is a totally unnecessary illness which can be treated. However for the estimated 750,000 people that suffer with OCD here in the UK, accessing such life changing treatment can be incredibly problematic according to OCD sufferer, and founder of the national charity OCD-UK, Ashley Fulwood.

In August (2015) OCD sufferer Ashley Fulwood and OCD specialist Professor Paul Salkovskis, will be joining forces for Ride4OCD, cycling from John o’Groats to Land’s End across different regions of the British Isles to raise awareness about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, whilst fundraising for OCD-UK and offering support opportunities for people with OCD along their route.

1250 miles over 19 consecutive days is no mean feat, by their own admission both Ashley and Paul are carrying a fair bit of excess weight, Professor Salkovskis said “Our slogan for the ride is ‘Anything is possible’, something Ashley and I say to people when they have doubts about whether they can beat their OCD.

“I am constantly impressed by the way people with OCD rise to the challenges necessary to deal with OCD, so I thought I should at the very least meet the challenge this ride poses for a rather unfit non-cyclist!”

Ride4OCD has five principal objectives

Improving awareness and understanding about OCD
Fundraising for the national charity OCD-UK
Highlighting treatment inequalities across regions
Bringing the OCD community together
Demonstrating that mental challenges can be faced and overcome
Paul and Brynjar repair a puncture during 2013 charity ride.

The team’s connection to OCD

Cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End this August will be Ashley Fulwood, now 39, but has suffered with OCD since childhood. Joining him will be someone who has seen the impact that OCD can cause first hand, one of the world’s leading OCD specialists, Professor Paul Salkovskis (pictured above). Joining them during the trip and the team’s support director will be OCD sufferer, Dr Lisa Marnell.

For all of them they have seen first-hand the devastation that OCD can cause, and that passion to make positive change is what drove them to come up with the Ride4OCD project.