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Funds raised in memory of former editor top £5,000

Family and colleagues of a former daily newspaper editor who died at the age of 51 have now raised more than £5,000 in his memory.

Mel Cook, left, former editor of the Nottingham Post, died in April after a six-month battle with kidney cancer.

Since then Post staff, along with Mel’s partner Helen Dyson, have been raising cash in aid of Maggie’s Centre, which provides emotional and practical support to people dealing with the killer disease.

Now more than £5,000 has been raised in the popular editor’s memory from sponsored bike rides, marathons, parachute jumps and other activities.

Helen told the Post that Mel would have been “honoured” with the fundraising efforts for the cancer support charity which is based in the grounds of Nottingham City Hospital.

“It’s been a very tough six months and continues to be so for everyone. Both Maggie’s and the Nottingham Post staff who worked for Mel have been a great support to Luke and I fundraising in honour of Mel,” she said.

“I’d also like to thank family and friends for their overwhelming support during the last year, especially the last six months.”

Helen and Mel’s 12-year-old stepson Luke, who made the cheque presentation to Maggie’s Centre on the charity’s Sponsor a Day appeal, decided that the first day to be sponsored should be 8 November – which would have been Mel’s 52nd birthday.

Helen Dyson, left, with son Luke, and Maggie's Centre fundraiser Sasha Pauley

The money was raised through several events including a barbecue at Helen’s home which raised £2,000, while Luke raised a further £600 by doing a sponsored 24-mile bike ride through Yorkshire.

A further £1,500 was added to the appeal when 30 Post staff ran the Ikano Robin Hood half- marathon in September and a vintage tea party raised £850.

Maggie’s Centre marked it’s second anniversary earlier this month and has had more than 17,000 visitors in the last two years.

“Cancer caring centres like Maggie’s become a huge part of life to people living with cancer and their families,” added Helen.

“No one knows just how devastating it is when you receive the news that you or a loved one has cancer. The loneliness, sadness and even anger is overwhelming, but knowing there is always someone to talk to who understands is a great comfort.”

A second sponsor day will be held on 1 April – the first anniversary of Mel’s death.