Countdown for Wellingborough dad's epic cycle ride in memory of daughter Kelly
Kelly took her own life after a battle with anxiety and depression
The father of a Wellingborough woman who took her own life is just weeks away from the coast-to-coast 1,000-mile cycle marathon in her memory.
John Hewitt, chairman of Wellingborough-based company, the Glazerite UK Group Ltd, will take on the challenge to honour his late daughter Kelly, starting on August 16.
Joining John on his arduous journey will be eleven friends and family members to take on the ride from John O’Groats in Scotland down to Land’s End in Cornwall.
The challenge, nicknamed Kelly’s Heroes, will raise money for the charity, We Mind & Kelly Matters, which John set up to honour his 24-year-old daughter after her death in 2018.John says: “Kelly had fought a battle with anxiety and depression in the months leading up to her death. After she took her own life, we wanted to do all we could in her memory to raise awareness of mental health and support other charities like Mind.
“Now more than ever, people across the UK are struggling with their mental health because of the impact of the pandemic. We hope that our bike ride can raise lots of money and awareness of the battles people face on a daily basis, as well as illustrate the help and guidance on offer to help support those who are struggling.”
John and the rest of the team have been training for the challenge since last autumn, with a mix of indoor and road cycling.
Much of the team’s training this year coincided with the UK-wide lockdown, which meant finding new ways to train together virtually using indoor cycling equipment and catching up over WhatsApp for cycling sessions. In the process, John has lost nearly three stone.
John added: “We know it’s going to be a tough two weeks but nowhere near as tough as it is for those who face battles with mental health.
"We want to play a part in raising awareness and funds with the challenge so that we can make a real difference to someone’s life.”
In support of Kelly’s Heroes, Northampton-based company All Things Management has put together a video montage for use on social media to help raise even more awareness of the cycle ride.
Ben Thomas, who was behind the clip, said: “Mental health is a topic I am passionate about, and when I heard about the battles Kelly went through I wanted to do something to make a difference.
"John is inspirational, and I’m proud that we played a small part in this to help raise awareness of mental health.”
The team leaves John O’Groats on August 16 and aims to reach the Cornish landmark within 13 days.
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