Balloons released for South Shields school worker Lisa Kelly as cyclists complete gruelling bike ride in her memory
A father who was devastated by his partner's sudden death was spurred on to complete a gruelling bike ride in her memory - by the love he holds for her in his heart.
Gavin Calvert’s world was torn apart when Lisa Kelly collapsed and died in the car park of Bamburgh School where she worked as an education practitioner, on March 15.
This weekend, the 36-year-old was joined by friends as he took part in a Coast to Coast cycle ride in her memory.
The challenge saw the group of 24 make their way from the North West coast, on Friday, arriving at the Leas, in South Shields, yesterday.
In an emotional tribute to the much-loved partner and mum, Gavin was joined by the couple’s two children, twins Scarlett and Jasmine, five, as he made his way along the last mile of the route.
The youngsters, wearing matching red T-shirts with their mum’s picture, were pulled along in a trailer attached to the former soldier’s bike so that they could cross the finishing line together.
They were greeted by the families of the riders and friends who had all gathered to welcome them home, before balloons were released.
Gavin said: “All the way, I kept thinking about Lisa. It was a lot harder both emotionally and physically then I imagined, but every time I struggled, I kept thinking about Lisa.
“It was lovely seeing the girls waiting for me at Marsden Grotto and it was nice to have them with me as we crossed the finishing line together.
“It’s something we will be able to remember forever, together.”
Gavin added: “I can’t thank the lads who took part enough. Everyone struggled at some point along the route, but they all soldiered on. They are true friends.
“And what everyone has done for us, the banners, the T-shirts, balloons – it’s really quite overwhelming and shows how much people do care.”
The bike ride was raising funds for Bamburgh School and Community Corner.
Those taking part in the bike ride include: Sgt Royal Marine Tim Fox, Laurence Calvert, Leon Calvert, Paul Kelly, Jonny Black, Rob Haldane, Anthony Murphy, Chris ‘Jarra’ Ryan, Darren Effard, Jonny Carr, Lee O’Donovan, Lee Henderson, Richard Rattenbury, Gary Shaw, Barry Nesbitt, Colin Roach, Craig Scurfield, Gareth ‘Dinger’ Bell, Kevin Kassim, David Hall, Matthew Muchall, Carl Ridley, Jason Wakefield and Paul Jary.