Donations after charity cyclist's death reach almost £50,000

Christian Smith, 38, was killed in a crash in Kent during an attempt to ride a 24-hour, 248-mile-round trip to raise money for the mental health charity Mind

Christian Smith
Christian Smith

Donations on the JustGiving page of a cyclist who was killed at the weekend while on a 24-hour cycle ride for the mental health charity Mind have reached almost £50,000.

Christian Smith, 38, died in a crash with a car in Kent in the early hours of 22 March, while attempting to ride a 24-hour, 248-mile-round trip around Kent and Sussex to raise funds for and awareness of mental health issues.

His original fundraising target was £1,000. But since his death donations have rocketed to £47,342.67, as of Monday morning. His JustGiving account shows more than 3,500 donations.

Smith said on his JustGiving page that he had suffered from "a spate of poor mental health".

"In short, I want to support the charity Mind, raise awareness towards the great support that they offer, and help bring an end to the stigma that is attached to those who suffer from mental health problems," he said.

Smith said he was aiming to complete the ride without the help of a support team.

One of the comments on the page reads: "Such a tragic loss of someone who was being selfless by raising money for charity. My heart goes out to Christian’s family and friends."

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "We were shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Christian Smith. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at the extremely difficult time."

The news is the latest death in fundraising to trigger significant donations.

Samaritans received almost £1m in donations in 2012 following the death of Claire Squires during the London Marathon.

And Susan Taylor’s fundraising total last year reached more than £50,000 in the days after she died trying to swim the English Channel to raise money for Diabetes UK and the Rainbow Children’s Hospice.

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