Raising funds in tribute to former colleagues

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Raising funds in tribute to former colleagues

(Andrew and Paul handing a cheque to Pilgrims Hospices after the most recent fundraising event) 

Thousands of pounds have been raised in tribute to four Thames Water employees who all passed away within four years.

Andrew Pudney and his colleague Paul Jeffcock, both based at Beckton sewage works, have raised more than £20,000 for a variety of charities who helped care for their co-workers.

The funds were raised at an annual golf day, which was first held five years ago when Keith Walton, a sludge generator controller, died after a short battle with cancer.

The following year, the family-friendly fundraiser gained extra significance as fellow Beckton worker Doug Ebbatson also died of cancer and just 12 months later, so did colleague Tony Cox.

Then, earlier this year, another colleague Mark Keppel died on holiday, aged just 39.

Each year a new trophy has been introduced to the competition to commemorate those who died, and a different charity has been chosen to benefit. So far, money has been donated to St Frances Hospice in Romford, Pilgrims Hospice in east Kent, Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer UK.

Andrew Pudney, who organises the events, said: “We’ve been doing it now since Keith died to try and raise funds for the charities that helped him, and each year it’s gained more significance, as we’ve lost another colleague.

“It’s so sad, all four of them were just really nice people and great blokes.

“We invite all the families to the events and they are so, so grateful for it. As well as raising money for the charities, it’s also a time to remember them and it’s always a really good atmosphere.”

Although they’ve raised thousands of pounds, they’re not resting on their laurels and are already planning next year’s events.

Andrew added: “We were only going to do it for a year but it’s been so successful we think we’ll continue it.”