Tributes to “one of our own”

TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved grandfather whose tireless fundraising made him a familiar sight at venues and events across the region.

David Gibson, 60, of Darlington, died suddenly last weekend, just weeks after retiring from his work at the Great North Air Ambulance Service. The father-of-three worked for the charity for 12 years.

Grahame Pickering MBE, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “Dave loved the charity and everyone here loved him.

“We’ll remember him as one of our most passionate supporters and a man who fundamentally cared about others.

“It has come as a tremendous shock to lose one of our own, and someone with seemingly so much left to give. We stand with Wendy and the family at this most difficult time.”

As well as spending 9-5 hours in the office, Mr Gibson often volunteered his spare time to raise money for GNAAS. He was a regular at major events throughout the North, collecting donations, selling merchandise and raising awareness.

Judy Kitching MBE, who ran the popular CornShed music festival from her farm at Hutton Rudby, said: “I was always delighted when I knew that Dave would be helping at The CornShed or our Beer Festival.

“Apart from being a true gentleman, he was able to turn his hand to absolutely anything he was asked to do, whether it be collecting tons of ice or sweeping a shed, and he could see things that needed doing before he was asked.

“He could get on with any of the crew here and always had a smile on his face. I felt that he loved to help, loved the lead up time to the event and then the event itself.

“He did as much as he possibly could, with us all here, to raise money for his beloved GNAAS. He will be sorely missed.”

Brian Laverick, or the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group, one of GNAAS’ biggest supporters, said: “Dave was a really nice guy with such a welcoming and friendly personality. He was such a good ambassador for the air ambulance and will be sadly missed by all his friends in the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group.”

The marshals at Croft Circuit, another of Mr Gibson’s regular venues, issued a joint statement: “Dave was a very pleasant, polite and cheerful gentleman. He always stood with us at the gate and was very good at raising funds for GNAAS without being intimidating. His friendly chats will be missed.”

A funeral will be held on Thursday, August 23, at Darlington Crematorium at 2.15pm.

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