THE family of a tragic teenager who died of a brain tumour are striding out in a walking fundraiser in his memory

Jake Whiteside, from Rayne, died in April 2017 less than 10 months after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.

The popular Notley High School pupil was just 16.

Jake was diagnosed with a brain tumour after he collapsed at school.

Family and friends have been fundraising in his memory since Jake's death.

Mum Melanie, dad Richard Whiteside and their son Scott, decided to raise money for the CLIC Sargent charity, which supported the family with Jake’s illness.

Many fundraisers have been cancelled since the pandemic broke out.

But now they are taking part in the Stop.Swap.GO! 60 Day Challenge.

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Dad Richard, mum Melanie and Jake's brother Scott

The campaign was launched by Essex County Council to encourage residents to swap daily vehicle travel for sustainable alternatives, such as walking and cycling.

Melanie said: “We settled on a walking challenge as Jake lost the ability to walk due his brain tumour.

"He was such a great kid who taught us what real strength looks like.

“My husband and son both signed up to the Stop.Swap.GO! challenge first to keep up the training.

"Whilst Scott cycles to work every day, Richard works many miles away, so had to get his daily walks in either very early in the morning or later in the evening.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Jake Whiteside, from Rayne

Melanie, who describes herself as a "couch potato", normally settles for organising charity events but was persuaded to sign up to the challenge and has been going for walks most days as her ‘commute’.

She said: “Getting out, even during the autumn and winter months, has made such a difference – and I’m even starting to walk further than ever before.

"I've found the walks a good way to get out with my sister or a friend and just have a chat and to check up with each other. I always get home from these walks feeling brighter. The support of our family and friends means so much to us and keeps us strong”.

Nearly £36,000 has been raised in memory of Jake.

To donate, visit

To take part in Stop.Swap.GO! visit