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Treasured memories inspire bench donation to King’s Lynn hospital

The hospital’'s Macmillan information and support manager Vicky Mitchell with Gavin English and fundraising executive Laurence Moorlaàs: Picture Victoria Fear

The hospital’'s Macmillan information and support manager Vicky Mitchell with Gavin English and fundraising executive Laurence Moorlaàs: Picture Victoria Fear

Archant

Treasured memories of sitting with his wife on a bench at a hospital while she was being treated for cancer inspired a 79-year-old man to donate a bench in her memory.

The inscription on the bench: Picture Victoria FearThe inscription on the bench: Picture Victoria Fear

Gavin English, 79, began fundraising for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, to fulfil one of the dying wishes of his wife, Frances, and he has not stopped.

The Indonesian Teak bench, worth about £300, has been placed in the garden close to the Macmillan cancer care and treatment centre where the couple would often take five minutes to sit.

Mrs English died in September 2013.

The great-grandfather, who lives in Docking, near Fakenham, 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.”

Mr English has raised more than £22,000 for the hospital since his wife’s death.

He sold her clothes to give something back to the Macmillan centre, organised supermarket collections, car boot sales and even wrote a book, The Last Waltz, about their time together.

The hospital’s fundraising executive, Laurence Morlaàs, said: “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.”

Are you fundraising in memory of a loved one? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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