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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Cumbrian girls raise £700 for hospice after death of dad

Two young girls sold homemade bracelets after their dad’s funeral, to raise money for the hospice where he spent his final days.

Loom band girls photo
Sisters Abbie, centre and Katie Reay with friend Gracie Clode, left

Paul Reay, from Cummersdale, near Carlisle, died less than two weeks ago at the age of 43.

In the days since, his daughters Katie, 11, and eight-year-old Abbie, have set about giving something back to the people who cared for him in the final weeks.

Supported by cousins and school friends, the girls have been making loom band bracelets and selling them to raise money for Eden Valley Hospice.

Katie said: “It was just a thank you for looking after my dad so well.”

Mr Reay, who worked as a business manager at Lloyd BMW in Kingstown, Carlisle, died in the hospice after an 18-month battle with prostate cancer.

His wife Joanne, paid tribute to her late husband.

She said: “He fought cancer for 18 months after he was diagnosed in January last year. Everybody says he fought it with so much dignity, bravery and courage.

“He never once complained, and when someone asked him how he was he would just say; ‘spot on, mate’. He carried on working right up until five or six weeks before he died.”

The girls sold the bracelets at their dad’s wake on Thursday and the day after at a pre-Dalston Show community event, raising £700 all together.

“Paul was in there [the hospice] for a week and we are so grateful,” Mrs Reay said. “Nothing was too much trouble, so we wanted to give something back.”

The girls started making the loom bands before the funeral then at the funeral wake they collected £530 in donations. The following day they went to the pre-show BBQ and open evening in Dalston and set up a stall which raised £170.

Mrs Reay continued: “They will continue to sell them and my sister has a hairdresser’s, so she will put them in the shop. We are doing a car boot sale on Sunday and they said they will sell them there too.”

Mrs Reay said the family had been overwhelmed by the generosity of people – with the girls initially hoping they might raise £100.

Mourners at Mr Reay’s funeral also donated £1,620 to the hospice at the family’s request.

Since his death, tributes have been pouring in for Mr Reay via online social networking sites. His dad, Alan, wrote: “True diamond of a man, there’ll never be another, proud to say he was my boy xx.”

And nephew Adam Reay posted: “Rest in peace Uncle Paul, can’t believe this vile disease has taken you away. You have been so brave over the last 18 months and never stopped smiling, Katie and Abbie should be very proud of their Dad. Not just an uncle, but a best friend, love you always x.”

Karen Sloan wrote: “Was such a pleasure to know and work with you Paul. So very sad to hear you have gone. Always had a smile, a joke and so much time for people. Love and hugs to your girls, family, friends and colleagues, past and present. You will be missed xxxx.”

Kay Richardson wrote: “One of life’s happiest fellas.”

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