The memory of a much-loved councillor and her daughter is being kept alive as her grandson gets set to take part in his first running event.
Anthony Chilley was devastated when his mum Michelle, 49, died suddenly after collapsing at the family home in King George Road, South Shields, in 2011 of heart failure.
The then 12-year-old and his older sister Annabel, then 13, who were with her at the time, had immediately called 999 and desperately tried to revive their mum as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Her death shocked the community and broke the heart of her mum, his nana Coun Joan Meeks, who died months later after a short illness, never coming to terms with her daughter’s death, aged 68.
Now, aged 17, the teenager is hoping to make them both proud as he takes part in the Gateshead 10k – his first running event – raising money for the British Heart Foundation in their memory.
Anthony said: “I wanted to lose weight but needed a goal, something to keep me focused.
“Training has been hard because it’s not something I’ve done before but knowing I’m doing it in memory of my mam and nana will keep me going.Anthony Chilley
“I wanted to take part in the Great North Run, but I didn’t get a place, then I saw the Gateshead 10k and signed up.
“Training has been hard because it’s not something I’ve done before, but knowing I’m doing it in memory of my mam and nana will keep me going.
“It’s my first running event, I’m trying to stay positive. It’s been lovely the support I’ve had from so many people who remember my mam and nana.
“Having the focus has also helped to improve my fitness and lose weight, which is what I wanted.”
The Gateshead 10k event will take place on Sunday and will see runners leave from Saltmeadows Road, do a lap of part of the Gateshead quayside before finishing the run within Gateshead Stadium.
To sponsor Anthony, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Anthony-Chilley.