A team from a Stansted-based aerospace company took on an epic 287-mile cycling challenge in memory of their colleague.

Colleagues from GT Engine Services cycled from their workshop at Stansted Airport to the Eiffel Tower as a tribute to Martyn Fennell, who worked for the company until October 2022 and tragically took his own life earlier this year.

The cycle ride spanned over three days and saw the team conquer an elevation of 11,187 feet, raising £10,206 for Mind in West Essex in the process.

Through their ride, the team hoped to raise awareness of mental health issues, saying Martyn's death had left a "profound void" in the group.

Despite facing scorching weather, bike malfunctions, punctures, injuries and the occasional fall, the group said that Martyn's spirit served as a "powerful motivator" for the team.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Greg Macleod with Martyn's brother Stuart and nephew AndrewGreg Macleod with Martyn's brother Stuart and nephew Andrew (Image: GT Engine Services)

Following the cycle ride, GT Engine Services welcomed Martyn's brother and representatives from Mind in West Essex to their premises for a cheque presentation.

Greg Macleod, managing director at GT Engine Services, said: "We are extremely proud as a group of what we have achieved and pleased we can have Martyn’s family and Mind in West Essex join us.

"We didn’t have a long time to train and pull this ride together, but the group's determination and common goal shone through.

"There is a profound sense of loss amongst the team for Martyn, and channelling our energies has somehow helped with the healing.

"While we cannot bring Martyn back, we can remember him fondly and make sure we support each other in the future, and hopefully, by raising this money for Mind in West Essex, we can positively impact other people in the region."

Jade from Mind thanked the team for the donation and offered advice on mental health challenges, as well as explaining how the funds would be used.


As a token of remembrance, the team presented Martyn's brother Stuart and his nephew Andrew with a memory book of Martyn's time at GT Engine Services.

Stuart Fennell said: "Martyn's suffering may have ended, but it has now been passed onto us.

"It was a shock to us as he went to watch my son play football on Sunday, and then on Tuesday, I had two police officers knock on the door telling me of his passing.

"If you are struggling, please speak to someone, as the devastation left behind is unbearable.

"Thank you to Greg and everyone who helped raise money in my brother's memory. What an impressive way to do it, and our family is extremely grateful for choosing Mind West Essex as the charity to support."

GT Engine Services has further plans to prioritise mental health within the workplace, pledging to create a "safe space" for team members to openly discuss their issues.

The initiative includes mental health first aid training, wellbeing spaces for teams, and a 'tea and talk' day encouraging team members to share their stories and support one another - all of which will serve as a lasting tribute to Martyn's memory.