Thanks to generous Gavin for raising £20,000

A selfless man from Docking who has singlehandedly raised more than £20,000 in less than two years for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been given a special award.

Gavin English, 78, began fundraising for the hospital just a few months after the death of his wife Frances in 2013.

The couple tied the knot on 26 July 1957 in Dumfries after a whirlwind romance and enjoyed 56 years together until Mrs English lost her battle to cancer on 9 September, 2013.

Mr English began fundraising in November and fulfilled one of his wife’s last wishes to sell her clothes to give something back to the Macmillan Care and Treatment Centre.

He has not stopped and is one of the hospital’s best supporters by running supermarket collections, car boot sales and even writing a book, “The Last Waltz”.

Mr English was presented with a ‘thank you’ award by the Chief Executive Dorothy Hosein on Tuesday, 14 June.

Mrs Hosein has paid tribute to Mr English’s outstanding fundraising efforts for the hospital.

She said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Gavin. I am overwhelmed by his effort and generosity. He is a unique person and has raised such a large amount of money in such a short time and under difficult emotional circumstances.”

Mr English has recently handed over another £3,000 cheque to the hospital, bringing his total to £20,121. The money was raised at supermarket collections and car boot sales.

From skis to a Captain’s Chair, Mr English spends hours collecting, sorting and washing the donations, which he has picked up from across the area and now fill his garden sheds and home.

Mr English has become a familiar face at car boot sales in Hunstanton, Heacham, Snettisham, King’s Lynn, Upwell and Emneth. He often gets up at 4.30am to prepare for a sale.

Mr English, who has two children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said: “I appreciate the award and really didn’t expect it but that is not why I fundraise.

“This is what Francis wanted. She wanted to give something back to the people who had been so good to her. I also get a lot out of doing this and I have no plans to give up.

“We had such a good life together. If you can mix love and faith together I think you have cracked it.”

Laurence Morlaàs, fundraising executive at the hospital, said: “Gavin is one of our best single fundraisers. I think it is amazing that shortly after the loss of his wife, Gavin began fundraising for us to help others.”

Pictured: Chief Executive Dorothy Hosein presents the award to Gavin English with Fundraising Executive Laurence Morlaàs

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