Eastbourne staff team raises money in memory of colleague's son

A bereaved father has received support from his colleagues with fundraising for an Eastbourne charity.

Tuesday, 11th July 2017, 5:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:34 am
Thousands of pounds have been raised in memory of 11-year-old Harley

Staff at the Sussex branch of SGN gas company helped Gary Simpson, whose 11-year-old son Harley died in November, raise money for a charity supporting those with lost loved ones.

Mr Simpson said he had been deeply touched by support from colleagues since his return to work after Harley’s death following a traffic accident.

“It is greatly appreciated, and so many of our colleagues are joining us at future events to honour Harley, which means a great deal,” he said.

Gary Simpson presented a cheque to charity You Raise Me Up

Harley’s father handed a cheque for £1,400 to the Polegate charity You Raise Me Up, which offered him and his partner counselling after losing their son.

Members of the SGN team donated money normally set aside for the staff Christmas dinner and the amount was matched by the company’s charity fund Into Action.

Mr Simpson described You Raise Me Up staff as like an extended family to him and his partner Jo.

The charity offers emotional and financial support to families who have lost a child or young adult and runs a coffee shop in East Sussex where Mr Simpson handed over the cheque.

Gary Simpson presented a cheque to charity You Raise Me Up

The couple, who live at St Leonards, have raised a total of almost £9,000 for other charities which have supported them since their son’s death, saying they are determined Harley’s memory should live on.

Mr Simpson said, “He was a cheeky and energetic lad, full of mischief with an infectious smile and giggle which brought joy to so many.

“A true helper at heart, he loved nothing more than to lend a hand, but was always modest in his acceptance of praise.

“We are all so proud of his determination for such a young boy.”

Two memorial pages for Harley have so far raised £2,473 for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, and £2,100 for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

A Walk of Light was also organised in Harley’s memory, which was attended by 250 people and raised more than £1,100, according to the couple.

SGN gas company also collected £1,550 at its Outstanding People Awards in May, which was also donated to You Raise Me Up.