Fundraiser continues husband’s legacy to raise £130,000 for Severn Hospice

A woman who vowed to continue her husband's legacy after his death has pushed her family's fundraising total to £130,000 in 10 years.

Market Hall facilities manager Kate Gittins with charity fundraiser June Beharrell
Market Hall facilities manager Kate Gittins with charity fundraiser June Beharrell

When June Beharrell's husband, Gordon, died in 2009, she promised to carry out his work to raise vital funds for Severn Hospice.

Almost without fail, every Friday or Saturday for the past decade, the 80-year-old has collected donations from customers visiting Shrewsbury Market Hall, totalling more than £61,000.

Gordon was a prolific charity fundraiser for many years. His sponsored feats included walking from Lands End to John O’Groats, St David’s to Great Yarmouth, Nebraska to Salt Lake City and 2,000 miles around The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury.

In later life he started collecting donations twice a week in Shrewsbury Market Hall and raised almost £70,000 for the hospice before his death, aged 71.

Within days, June, of Bayston Hill, took over his spot and has carried on ever since, with the help of her son Adam.

“I vowed I would continue Gordon’s fundraising because I wanted to continue his legacy,” she said

“He wanted to give something back. People still come up to me now in the market and say they remember Gordon and what a gentleman he was.”

Gordon, a former British Transport policeman, began fundraising for various charities after recovering from bowel cancer in his 50s.

Market Hall faciities manager Kate Gittins paid tribute to June’s “amazing dedication”.

“June has raised money that has been used to enhance the care of hundreds of people over the years,” she said.

“Her efforts have helped to fund the general running costs of the hospice, specialist equipment for patients, staff uniforms and the upgrade of one of the patient rooms.

“She is unstinting, even in winter when the entrance to the Market Hall can get bitterly cold. She simply brings a rug to keep warm. There is always a smile on her face. The market’s customers love her.

“All of us at Shrewsbury Market Hall – the management, the traders and the customers - extend our heartfelt thanks and admiration to June for her amazing dedication to fundraising for the Severn Hospice over the last 10 years. She is an inspiration to us all.”

June’s other sons John and Matthew, and grandson Josh, have also contributed to the fundraising for Severn Hospice.

Matthew has run the London Marathon and he and John also take part in sponsored cycle rides, including from London to Paris.

In 2013 June and Matthew were invited to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace to thank them for their charity work.

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