A classic song was performed at the funeral of a man who raised £115,000 to help cancer patients in West Norfolk.
Great-grandad Gavin English died at the age of 86 and more than 100 of his friends and family heard King’s Lynn Rock Choir perform Ed Sheeran’s song Perfect as he was remembered at Mintlyn Crematorium.
Gavin, from Docking, was an inspiration to many across West Norfolk and the charitable work he carried out – more than 800 car boot fairs and supermarket collections over 10 years – resulted in a wide range of improvements for cancer patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
He spent a lot of time fundraising in honour of his late wife Frances, who was treated at the hospital.
When a member of the Rock Choir learned of Gavin’s dedication and was so moved by his story, the whole choir decided to support his work.
And when Gavin became unwell shortly before Christmas and couldn’t continue with his hectic schedule of fundraising at supermarkets, the choir stepped in to carry on his work. This close bond resulted in Gavin’s family inviting the Rock Choir to sing at his funeral.
So far, the singers have raised more than £600 in Gavin’s honour which has been deposited with the QEHKL Charity for the Cancer Care Treatment Fund, with more events in the pipeline.
Rock Choir Leader Sally Rose explained: “We knew that we needed to step up to support him. Mr English was a lovely and an exceptional man. He was selfless and full of empathy for those who were going through what he already had, but he was also driven by his understanding of how to bring a touch of sunshine into people’s lives, even in the darkest of times and if only for the briefest of moments.
“Some of our Rock Choir members have been lucky enough to have come through their own cancer journeys, so it was clear to us all, after speaking with him in November and hearing his hopes for the refurbishment of the unit’s corridors, that we wanted to help by fundraising for him and the Cancer Care Unit.
“He was grateful for every donation and we are honoured to have known him and to have supported him on his fundraising journey. Rock Choir hope to be able to continue our support and to fulfil a few of his commitments this coming year.”
Hospital CEO Alice Webster, who attended the funeral, said: “I would like to thank the wonderfully generous members of King’s Lynn Rock Choir for all they have done to support Gavin and to continue with fundraising in his honour.
“He was a man who inspired so many people and has made a tremendous difference to our patients, their families, friends and, of course, our staff. We are committed to carrying on the work that Gavin had planned for our centre with our senior nursing team. His legacy here will live on.”
If you would like to donate to the QEH’s cancer care unit, please email Charity@qehkl.nhs.uk for more information.