Taking a charity for a ride

John Hewitt, chairman of the Glazerite UK Group, has rallied a 12-strong group of friends and family to take part in a mammoth cycle ride in memory of his late daughter, Kelly.

The challenge will see the team – nicknamed Kelly’s Heroes – cycle the arduous 1,000-mile route from John O’Groats to Land’s End next summer.

Some of Glazerite’s customers and good friends of John will be joining him for the ride, including Pete Mew of West Midlands-based Mews Windows and Glyn Pepper of Snowdon Homes.

John’s daughter Kelly died aged 24 last December, following a battle with depression. After her death, John set up a registered charity, We Mind and Kelly Matters, which is geared at raising awareness of mental health and supporting those struggling with it, as well as fundraising for mental health charities like Mind.

In its first six months alone, We Mind and Kelly Matters has seen an amazing amount of support from across the fenestration industry and so far this year, installers and suppliers associated with Glazerite have already helped to raise over £20,000 for the charity.

John said: “Kelly took her own life having suffered from anxiety and depression in the months leading up to her passing. Prior to that Kelly had always been a happy and cheerful girl and a very much-loved daughter, sister and friend. However, her mental health deteriorated very quickly, and her death has left us all completely devasted.A group of us decided to do something in memory of Kelly so that we could raise as much money as possible for the charity. We also want to raise awareness of Kelly’s story so people can better understand the impact depression and anxiety can have, and hopefully learn from it. Depression is a silent killer, and you never really know what someone is going through inside.”

Kelly’s Heroes plan to start training for the ride in November.

Pete Mew said: “We’re fully expecting intense pain and stress and we know that the training will be hard, let alone the actual ride. But it will be worth it if we can raise as much as possible in Kelly’s memory and hopefully help many others who find themselves in a similar position.”

The team leaves John O’Groats on August 16, 2020 and aims to reach the Cornish landmark within 13 days. They hope to raise £50,000 to add to the £20,000 We Mind and Kelly Matters has raised so far this year thanks to the help of the Independent Network, Glazerite’s customers, and a number of events arranged by Kelly’s family and friends.