Media Release

‘Phenomenal’ Gavin’s fundraising for cancer unit passes £50,000 mark

A champion fundraiser for QEH has just smashed through the £50,000 mark – in less than five years.

At 81 years old, some people might be looking to take things a little easier but Gavin English’s support for the cancer care and treatment fund at the hospital is relentless.

“I get a lot out of it – I find it very rewarding,” said the Docking widower.

On Tuesday (Aug 14), Mr English handed over £8,670 – raised just since March via car boot sales in and collections at supermarkets in and around King’s Lynn, Downham Market, Swaffham and Fakenham.

The inspiration for his fundraising for the unit came from the care his wife Frances received for lung cancer before she died in September 2013, aged 77.

“The staff are angels dressed as doctors and nurses. I was told that Frances might only survive a few weeks but those weeks turned into 15 months. Every day is precious,” said Mr English, who was married for 56 years and has just finished writing his third book about his life with his wife and the years since losing her. He pays for the publishing himself and has given out tens of thousands of copies free of charge.

The first car boot sale at which he was a vendor stemmed from a request by his dying wife for others to benefit from her three wardrobes of clothes. Since that day at Gaywood Community Centre, he has been to 267 more and held 84 collection days at supermarkets.

The retired council dog warden said: “Every penny which is raised goes to the unit. I always tell people that it’s as much their charity as mine because without their donations and purchases it would be nothing.”

Mr English was delighted to be selected recently as the charity partner for Sainsbury’s store in Vancouver Centre, King’s Lynn, for the next year.

Lead cancer nurse Dawn Slack said: “Gavin’s commitment to fundraising and his support for our unit has been just brilliant. He’s a wonderful man and we’re just so grateful for all his efforts.

“Using the money he has just donated we have bought three sturns, which are to help patients stand and turn. They will be used by occupational therapists on wards where cancer patients go.”

QEH chief executive Jon Green thanked Mr English on behalf of the Trust.

“His efforts to raise £50,000 in a short period of time have been phenomenal and we are extremely grateful,” he said. “We’re really thankful that the people of West Norfolk and surrounding areas see the hospital as a cherished part of the community and appreciate every single bit of support.”


Photo caption: Gavin English presents his latest donation for QEH cancer care and treatment. Clockwise (from left): lead cancer nurse/matron Dawn Slack, Macmillan information and support manager Vicky Mitchell, lung cancer specialist nurse Nicky Shore, receptionist Rachel Murdoch and nursing auxiliary Emma Henry.

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