A family from Flintshire has so far raised over £5,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance in memory of a ‘much-loved dad and husband’.

Headteacher Lizzie Knight and her two children Carys, 19 and Steffan, 17, will take part in this month’s Cheshire triathlon in memory of her husband Richard, who passed away last year.

Tragically Richard collapsed whilst out walking in the Clwydian Mountain Range on 11 July 2020. Despite the efforts of the Wales Air Ambulance medics, they were unable to save him and he died on Moel Famau.

The Ysgol Bro Famau headteacher said: “We’re raising money for Wales Air Ambulance which provides such an incredible service for our communities across Wales. We will always be grateful for the help that Richard received on that day. Hopefully, by raising money we can ensure that others continue to receive the same emergency assistance when it is needed. 

“Richard is missed every day. He was a much-loved husband, father, son, brother and friend. Training for the triathlon has given us a focus and purpose.”

Lizzie, Carys and Steffan will be joined by friends Sian Meirion, Claire Hodgson and Vicky Weale and her children Lexi and Morgan for the triathlon, which will take place on Sunday 25 July.

The family initially set themselves a target to raise £300 for the charity and have currently raised an incredible £5,084.

A grateful Lizzie said: “I have been amazed by the response to the fundraising appeal. Initially I set a target of £300, and we’ve hit over £5,000. Our friends and family have been so generous and encouraging. Our school decided to hold a sponsored duathlon, with the money raised going to Wales Air Ambulance. We had a lot of fun, running and cycling! The children and families have raised so much money. I am truly touched by their kindness.” 

Lizzie was inspired to take part in the triathlon by her sister-in-law Bev, who took part in the Blenheim triathlon in September. Bev raised money for the for North-East Wales Search and Rescue who were also involved on the day that Richard collapsed on Moel Famau.

Reflecting on the challenge ahead, Lizzie, said: “I thought 'Why not?', I needed a focus and the Cheshire triathlon seemed a really good choice.  I was lucky that some friends and my two children also wanted to take part.  During lockdown it has given me a purpose and reason to get out and train. 

“I am really looking forward to the event!  Although I am also slightly terrified.  I have never done anything like this before. I'm not interested in times; I just want to finish! I know that Richard would be so proud of us, and he would be cheering the loudest.” 

In December 2020, the Charity achieved its aim of operating a 24/7 service. Wales now has access to the service’s Emergency Department-standard critical care around the clock and to keep the helicopters in the air, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year.  

Debra Sima, Community co-ordinator for the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “The Knight family have so-far raised over £5,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance, which is incredible. Despite the heartache the family has suffered since losing their much-loved husband and father, they’ve taken it upon themselves to raise funds for the charity. What a lovely tribute to remember Richard by.

“Thank you to everyone who is taking part in the fundraiser, donated, or has offered support to the family. A huge thank you to the pupils at Ysgol Bro Famau who have also played their part in fundraising for the Wales Air Ambulance. Good luck to Lizzie, Carys, Steffan and their friends in the triathlon.”

You can show your support to Lizzie, Carys, Steffan and their friends by donating to their Just Giving page - Lizzie, Family and Friends' Cheshire Triathlon page.

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.