A 25-year-old woman from South West London raised over £7k for charity this weekend by cycling around London – completely naked.
Kerri Barnes, from Fulham, rode 10 miles around the City’s landmarks on Sunday (Nov 29) to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
Braving the cold and the prying eyes from strangers, she raised thousands of pounds for Mind Charity, which experienced its largest ever increase in helpline calls during the nation’s first lockdown.
Wandsworth Times: Kerri Barnes at Tower Bridge
Kerri Barnes at Tower Bridge
Kerri, who works at a tech start-up, said the cause was inspired by a close family member, who struggled with their mental health and attempted suicide on multiple occasions.
“The thought of them going through lockdown again scared me into doing something really daft to give them something to look forward to,” she said.
Kerri asked her housemates how she could raise a significant amount of money in just three weeks, and they decided an 8°C naked cycle from the Natural History Museum to Tower Bridge would do the trick.
So far Kerri’s bold decision has paid off, as she smashed her target of £1,ooo - reaching over £7,000.
“It was a lot of fun, and the reaction from members of the public was brilliant. The roller skaters at Hyde Park came travelling with me for a bit, at Trafalgar Square people were rolling down car windows and cheering me on, at Downing Street, a policewoman on horseback even threatened a motorcyclist with 6 points as he took his phone out to take a picture!” she added.
Despite the laughs, the 25-year-old admitted it’s been an emotional fundraising journey.
“My aim has been to raise the profile of the discussion around suicide prevention. As a result, a lot of people have come forward with their stories about their lost loved ones, or even their own failed attempts.
“I'm positive that by opening up the conversation and removing the stigma around mental health, we will be better able to support one another and hopefully save some lives in the process.”
You can donate to Keri's fundraiser here - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kerri-barnes1