The heartbroken family of a Darlington dad and popular teaching assistant has paid tributes after his sudden death.

Christopher Greaves, who had worked at Wyvern Academy in Branksome since 2009, was found dead on Thursday, July 7.

Last night, his wife Rachel urged those suffering from mental health problems to speak out as she said the family had been left “devastated.”

Describing the dad-of-five as a “bubbly gentleman”, she said he would be a huge miss to not only the family but to the pupils he worked with.

The Northern Echo: Christopher Greaves was a higher level teaching assistant at Wyvern Academy in Darlington. Picture: THE GREAVES FAMILYChristopher Greaves was a higher level teaching assistant at Wyvern Academy in Darlington. Picture: THE GREAVES FAMILY

Read more: The Darlington school which has ditched branded uniform for ties made from recycled plastic

She told The Northern Echo: “Chris was very family-orientated. He was a gentleman.

“He had such a bubbly personality and sadly took his own life after his mental health declined.

“I just want other people to know that if they’re struggling please speak up and get help.

“He was very popular at Wyvern, everyone loved him. They (pupils) understood him and he understood them. It’s just devastating what he’s left behind.”

The Northern Echo: Chris and Rachel's children. Picture: THE GREAVES FAMILYChris and Rachel's children. Picture: THE GREAVES FAMILY

Christopher, who was 47-years-old, leaves behind his wife Rachel, and their five children, Elizabeth, 26, Hannah, 24, William, 21, Oliver 17, and Edward, 16.

He had also been grandfather to Ciaran, Harry, Grace and Lily.

The Northern Echo: Rachel and Chris. Picture: THE GREAVES FAMILYRachel and Chris. Picture: THE GREAVES FAMILY

Read more: 'They were just in bits': Dance kids left stranded for 26 hours at airport abroad

A higher-level teaching assistant, he taught maths to children with special educational needs. 

“He has left behind his legacy, our beautiful children,” Rachel said.

Rachel also explained how her husband had been a lover of the outdoors and had played for Mowden Rugby Club in his younger days.

Read more: Shop accused of selling illegal goods will be staying shut for even longer

The Northern Echo: Wyvern Academy, where Chris worked since 2009. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTWyvern Academy, where Chris worked since 2009. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

A crowdfunding page has been set up in Chris' memory,

The page was set up with the intention of the money raised to go toward the unexpected funeral costs.

Chris’ funeral will be held at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, Cockerton, Darlington, on Thursday, July 28 at 1pm with a wake at Mowden Rugby Club afterwards.

At the family’s request, all those in attendance should wear bright colours.

If you are in need of support you can contact the following:

- Samaritans is available, day or night, 365 days of the year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

- If U Care Share on 0191 387 5661 or text IUCS to 85258

- SANE on 07984 967 708, Calm on 0800 58 58 58

- Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust crisis line 0800 0516 171.


Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Darlington Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054