Charity honour for cancer fundraiser

A MAN who helped raise thousands of pounds to fight cancer in memory of his tragic friend and wife has received a national award.

A MAN who helped raise thousands of pounds to fight cancer in memory of his tragic friend and wife has received a national award.

Stuart Atkins, from Stowmarket, picked up the honour for his efforts following the death of his colleague, Glenn Rossell.

Mr Rossell, from Brome near Eye, was killed when his motorbike collided with a tractor, just outside Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds, a year ago.

The 31-year-old was a keen supporter of Cancer Research UK and raised more than £12,000 for the organisation after his wife lost her battle against the disease.

Mr Rossell's death meant his son Cameron and twin daughters Maja and Imogen had lost both their mother and father within a few years of one another.

Mr Atkins, who worked alongside Mr Rossell for ten years at Wheatley Associates in Bacton, decided to organise a challenge in his friend's memory.

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In September last year fundraisers climbed three of the highest peaks in Yorkshire in 12 hours and raised £9,000 for charity.

His efforts have been recognised and he was highly commended in the Fundraising Through Sport category at this month's Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Awards.

Mr Atkins said: “If Glenn were still with us today, he would have taken part and been out in front, encouraging everyone on with a joke and smile.

“A year on from his tragic death, it is overwhelming to see how something so bad can lead to something so positive.

“After all the heartache, it meant so much to all of us to raise so much money. The award is just the icing on the cake and I accepted it on behalf of everyone who helped, and of course in his memory, he will never be forgotten.”

Mr Atkins picked up the award at a special ceremony in London hosted by Cancer Research UK's chairman, David Newbigging.

Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK spokesman for Suffolk, said: “These awards are our way of saying thanks to the people who are the lifeblood of our organisation.

“They give up their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease, and yet ask for nothing in return. Together we will beat cancer.”

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, call 08701 602040.

Do you know someone who deserves an award? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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