Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 08.57.09A local Sunderland customer service centre has taken part in the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal by hosting a special fundraising event in remembrance of one of its former employees.

Staff from EDF Energy, Doxford International Business park, organised a fundraising day, raising over £2,000 for the regional Marie Curie Hospice, based in Newcastle, where former customer service advisor Raul Calvo was admitted before he passed away. Employees at the customer service centre took part in a dress down day, bake sales, tombola, sweepstake and raffle.

Raul, who was originally from Barcelona before moving to the UK as a student, was only 38 when he died. He worked at the centre for three years before falling ill for the second time with skin cancer, which then spread to his spine, abdomen and lungs in his final months.

EDF Energy customer service advisor and friend of Raul, Nikki Barrass, said: “Raul was very popular with workmates and his passing affected a lot of us. He was a great colleague and friend and will be sadly missed.

“We wanted to do something collectively in remembrance, and we knew that Raul would have wanted any fundraising money to go to the Marie Curie hospice. He spoke highly of all of the staff there and I know they made his final weeks comfortable.

“EDF Energy does a lot of fundraising for Marie Curie, which is usually sent to the national campaign, however in these special circumstances they have encouraged us to donate it directly to the regional hospice in memory of Raul.”

EDF Energy announced a three-year charity partnership with Marie Curie in May 2013.  As well as supporting the charity through volunteering, the energy company aims to raise £600,000 for Marie Curie over the period of the special relationship. This includes EDF Energy match-funding its employees’ fundraising by up to £100,000 each year.