Oliver's ride in memory of his dad

June 30 2017

HE might be only eight-years-old but that hasn't stopped Oliver Dewhirst from raising more than £1,800 in support of mental health charity Mind.

HE might be only eight-years-old but that hasn't stopped Oliver Dewhirst from raising more than £1,800 in support of mental health charity Mind.

The schoolboy, who lives in Fishponds, will embark on a sponsored bike ride from Bristol to Bath and back in memory of his dad Mark.

Oliver, a pupil at Begbrook Primary Academy, has been taking his training seriously, getting out on his bike as often as possible, determined to complete the 30-mile trek.

He will be joined on July 9 by more than 30 others, including his school chums and many of Mark's friends from Leeds and Manchester.

Mum Lisa said her husband had suffered from severe depression so the charity Mind was an obvious choice.

"The bike ride is a way of raising awareness of mental health which is such a huge topic at the moment," she said.

"Oliver's dad was really into cycling which is why Oliver chose to do a bike ride. He is really proud about how much money he's raised and is excited about all the people that will be joining him. We've been out training for the last three or four weeks and he's really focused. Oliver speaks so highly of his dad and that is giving him the motivation."

Lisa said Mark, who died in 2013,  had been devoted to his family and would have been so proud of his son.

She said: "Mark always strived to do everyone proud, with his career as a design engineer at GKN, a keen rugby player at  BAC RFC and an avid cyclist. 

"He was an intelligent, loving and sensitive man who valued his family above everything else. Tragically no-one knew how unwell Mark was until it was too late and his loss will be felt by many for a very long time."

Lisa said Oliver should be proud of himself for raising so much money to help others.

"Oliver is delighted by how much money he's already raised. I've also been overwhelmed by the response from people and the support from mums and dads at Oliver's school. I'm extremely proud of him." 

If you would like to join the bike ride to help boost Oliver's funds, please email lisadewhirst1977@gmail.com

You can also donate money by visiting Oliver's Just Giving page  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oliver-dewhirst1