Geoff Whittaker’s legacy will live on through his grandson Oliver Scott as the 16-year-old raises awareness and money for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
Geoff (64) died in October last year and £800 was raised for Rosemere in lieu of flowers at his funeral.
Geoff, who lived with wife of 42 years Jeannette in Barkerhouse Road, had also cut and planed wood from discarded pallets into various shapes, ready to build decorative miniature wheelbarrows and other garden planters to sell for Rosemere.
Geoff was a self-employed plasterer by trade and he used to travel the country working for Richard Branson when the entrepreneur had his chain of Virgin Records shops and he had also worked on Colne’s Boundary Mills Stores building.
And now his grandson Oliver, of Marsdenhall Road South, Nelson, is to take up the baton and finish off Geoff’s handiwork so that Jeannette can gift a new range of planters to Rosemere for the charity to sell over the coming summer months.
Proud Jeannette, who before she retired worked as an advisor for Help the Aged in Market Street, said: “Geoff was diagnosed with cancer of the voice box in 2010 and underwent surgery in Blackburn before radiotherapy treatment at Rosemere Cancer Centre in Preston.
“It wasn’t until he went there that he felt properly supported. It’s a wonderful place and in this area, our local specialist cancer treatment centre.
“Geoff began working as a Rosemere volunteer, helping with supermarket collections and selling his planters as he recovered. He had almost reached his five years all clear milestone when his cancer returned, this time affecting his lungs.
“He continued working for Rosemere right up to the end of his life and now Oliver is following in his footsteps by making sure the wood Geoff had prepared won’t be wasted but will do the good Geoff intended it to do.”
Oliver, a pupil at St Christopher’s CE High School, Accrington, won the Rosemere Santa Dash, held in Towneley Park last November to raise money for the Rosemere Burnley Chemotherapy Unit Appeal, which now stands at £88,000 towards its £100,000 target.
The money Rosemere’s appeal is raising is half the total cost of the new unit, which is being built at Burnley General Hospital. The other half of the money is coming from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the hospital. The cheque from Jeannette has been added to appeal funds.
Oliver’s mum is Amanda, Geoff and Jeannette’s eldest daughter and mum also to 18-year-old Jamie, who is head boy at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School’s Sixth Form Centre. Geoff and Jeanette have another daughter, Sarah, who lives in Briercliffe.
For further information on Rosemere Cancer Foundation, visit www.rosemere.org.uk.