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Power worker honoured for raising £100,00 for charity

Caring Stuart Varney had no idea when he organized a sponsored walk ten years ago that he would end up raising £100,000 for local charities over the next decade.

From Press releases - 8 November 2017 12:00 AM

Community Matters Award winners 2017.jpg

The area manager for UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to the East of England, London and the South East, was a lead field engineer back in 2007 and the sponsored walk was seen as a team bonding exercise for him and his colleagues, as well as raising money for a good cause.

Stuart, who lives in Harlow, and his workmates and their families raised £5,000 for Keech Cottage Children’s Hospice in Letchworth.

Ten years and £100,000 later, Stuart has picked up the Living Our Values Community Matters award from his employers for his fundraising efforts over the years.

He said: “After the first sponsored walk, some of us then wanted to hold an annual event and that’s when we set ourselves a target of raising £100,000.

“In 2008 we launched the first golf day at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire with the addition of a fishing competition and evening meal for non-golf players. Again the funds went to Keech Cottage.”

The golf and fishing day followed by dinner became an annual event and has been held at Stoke by Nayland Golf Course since 2010 after the charity day outgrew its previous venue.

Stuart added: “The only year we didn’t run the event was 2012 when all staff were involved in helping to deliver the Olympic Games. Over time, the event has grown with directors now also taking part alongside contractors, staff and family members.”

Among the other charities to benefit from Stuart’s fundraising efforts over the years are Chavasse VC House – a recovery centre for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, veterans and their families on the Colchester Garrison site – Breast Cancer UK, and Prostate Cancer UK.

As well as colleagues, Stuart has also been supported in his fundraising efforts by his sister Anne Jaggs over the years.

He said: “Last year was most probably the toughest event I have had to run as my sister who was also very active in the work sadly died in the November.

“It is very pleasing to win the award and for my other committee members to raise a glass for her and for me personally to dedicate this award to my sister.”

Despite reaching the fundraising target, Stuart has no plans to take a back seat.

“What started as a small walk has turned into a rollercoaster and even though we have reached the target we will go again on June 15th next year.”