Mind over matter for Arnold as charity money donated in memory of wife

A GRIEVING husband paid tribute to his beloved late wife after donating £5,000 to a cause she held close to her heart.

Arnold Somerset (72) was grateful to his employers after they made a sizeable donation to mental health charity Barnsley and Rotherham Mind in memory of his wife Laraine, who died from pancreatic cancer in September.

John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd, for which Arnold worked, and another company, Solvay Interox Ltd, stumped up the cash in Laraine’s memory.

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“It’s been a difficult time for all our family since Laraine died,” he said.

“She was my best friend, a mother to our four daughters and a wonderful friend.

“Laraine lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which affected her breathing for most of her life, but it never stopped her from living her life to the fullest.

“As a mental health nurse, she was dedicated to putting people first.

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“Her mission to spread the word about mental health services in Rotherham like Mind was unstinting.

“The charity meant a lot to her because she despised seeing people struggling.

“She had a real gift of talking to people which put people at ease.

“I’m thankful for the time I got to spend with her.”

Arnold, of Canklow, said his employers had played a big role in the fundraising efforts after his wife’s death.

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“It was around the time of the Queen’s platinum jubilee last June when Laraine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” he added.

“Her condition deteriorated rapidly and it was heartbreaking to have lost such a prominent member of our family.

“I’d retired prior to Laraine’s death but without her in my life, I didn’t know what to do. Probably for the first time in my life, I felt lost.

“To keep my mind occupied, I asked to go back to work with John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd who agreed.

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“They have been fantastic with me and when they found out that I was wanting to collect money in aid of mind, they wanted to help.

“The company had a bit of money left over after a job so they collaborated with Solvay Interox Ltd to donate £5,000.

“I was blown away with the support I’d received from everyone who wanted to do something great for a wonderful charity.

“It was a fitting way to remember my Laraine.”

Laraine’s daughter, Dawn Furby, said she was devastated to lose her mum.

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“Mum was a very special lady and was my best friend,” Dawn said. “She loved her daughters Amanda, Kerry, Louise and me, along with her grandchildren.

“We called her a champion of mental health because she dedicated a lot of her time to help others with fundraisers and to raise awareness for others who felt like they couldn’t speak up.”

Barnsley and Rotherham Mind said they were grateful and humbled to receive the donations.