An 8,000 km charity bike ride is being sponsored by a decorating and building supplies merchant.

The Broke.Bike.Mountain team are 23-year-olds Louis Blaxill, George Jones and Calum Craig, who have just finished their studies.

They aim to ride from the UK through France, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Spain, is to raise money for the mental health charity Mind. They are being sponsored by Kent Blaxill, and hope to raise £3,000.

The mammoth challenge kicked off on Saturday and is expected to take four months to complete.

Blaxill said: “We decided we wanted to raise money for Mind because of the advice and support they offer to anyone experiencing mental health issues.

“Having been at university for the last three years, we all saw first-hand students with mental health issues of one type or another and Mind did a terrific job in supporting them.

“We all really wanted to help ensure this type of support continues.”

Simon Blaxill, Managing Director at Kent Blaxill and Louis’ father, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting the boys as they raise money for Mind and it will be incredibly interesting to follow their journey.”