Treasured memories inspired bench donation to help others at QEH

A husband has honoured his wife’s memory by donating a bench to help other patients who are being treated for cancer at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Gavin and Frances English would often take five minutes to enjoy one of the hospital’s gardens after one of her treatments. Sadly, Frances lost her battle to cancer in September 2013.

Now, those treasured memories have prompted Mr English and his family to donate an Indonesian Teak bench, which has been installed in the garden close to the Macmillan Cancer Care and Treatment Centre, to help other couples and patients.

Mr English, who lives in Docking, said: “Frances and I used to come here and sit for 10 minutes on a nice day.

“She would love to sit here so to install the bench on this particular spot means an awful lot to me. It couldn’t be in a better place.

“I really hope that people will enjoy sitting here.”

During the presentation, Mr English handed over a further cheque for £2,000. Earlier this year, he received an award from Chief Executive Dorothy Hosein in thanks for raising more than £20,000 for the hospital since his wife’s death.

Mr English began fundraising in November 2013 and fulfilled one of his wife’s last wishes to sell her clothes to give something back to the Macmillan Care and Treatment Centre.

Since then 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”.

Fundraising Executive Laurence Morlaàs has thanked Mr English for the latest donation and the bench.  She said: “I think it is very touching that Gavin painted and coated the bench. This is not just a bench but a labour of love. He has put something of himself into this bench.”

—ENDS—

Pictured are: Vicky Mitchell, the Hospital’s Macmillan Information and Support Manager, Gavin English and Fundraising Executive Laurence Morlaàs

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