Cycle challenge in memory of popular school worker Lisa Kelly

Chris Cunningham is to take part in cycle challenge in aid of the Great North Ambulance in tribute to Lisa Kelly
Chris Cunningham is to take part in cycle challenge in aid of the Great North Ambulance in tribute to Lisa Kelly

A keen cyclist is getting set to take on a 100 mile bike ride challenge in memory of a much-loved colleague.

Chris Cunningham, a site supervisor at Sea View Primary School, will take on the challenge as a tribute to Bamburgh School worker Lisa Kelly in South Shields

Lisa Kelly with partner Gavin and daughters Scarlett and Jasmine.

Lisa Kelly with partner Gavin and daughters Scarlett and Jasmine.

Lisa died after collapsing in the school grounds on March 15

Sea View Primary and Bamburgh School share a site in Norham Avenue, South Shield.

Chris’s fundraising effort will take place next Friday on a static bike in the school gates.

The 47-year-old from Doxford Park, Sunderland, decided to take on the full-day challenge in the hope of raising as much as possible for the Great North Air Ambulance, which was called out in an effort to save Lisa.

He said: “I will be starting the challenge at 7.30am at Bamburgh School and plan to keep going until 3.30pm.

“I will be doing it on a static smart trainer bike and will be using the Strava app, which I use when I go out on a bike ride as it has a speedometer to show how far I have gone and how fast I have been.

“I am a keen rider and I have done 140 miles before. I often go out on a Saturday and do 50 miles.”

Lisa, 35, after collapsing in the car park at Bamburgh School.

She was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary but could not be saved.

Chris, who is also a member of South Shields Velo club, added: “I have been at the school for six years and knew Lisa for all that time as worked in the same building as me.

“So I am doing it in her memory. 
“I am looking forward to the challenge and the support from the school has been amazing.”

Mr Cunningham will doing his ride at the school gates along with collection buckets throughout the day, with groups of pupils coming out at intervals to cheer him on.

He has already managed to raise £800, but hopes he will hit £1,000 in the coming days.

He added: “I hope to hit the 100 mile mark no later than 2pm but will carry on until 3.30pm.”

Following Lisa’s death, headteacher Peter Nord led the tributes to Lisa, who he described as “loved by pupils, staff, parents and carers alike.”

On Tuesday hundreds of people attended a service in celebration of her life at South Tyneside Crematorium.

To donate, please visit Mr Cunningham’s Just Giving page: http://bit.ly/2oufJb8