25th April 2017 – A Very Sad Day

I am writing with some very sad news.  Dave Parsons, our Deputy Chair, passed away this morning.  For those that did not know, he has had a very short battle with pancreatic cancer, which is one of the swiftest of all cancers.  It has been about four weeks since diagnosis.
I am extremely privileged that Dave has been my best mate for the last 20 years and what he did for me (with Jan of course) during my darkest days after Nikki died is indescribable (in a positive way in case you are in any doubt).  He has been an enthusiastic supporter of everything I have tried to do to rebuild my life. Charity stuff – especially the Foundation – and half-marathons (wouldn’t join me though) and from remembering Nikki with a passion to finding new love.  OK, his honesty could sometimes knock me sideways, but I knew it was constructive and in my best interests and I would always end up further down the road.
Dave was a strong advocate of what we have been trying to achieve with the Foundation.  He has supported me with advice, questions and opinion.  I am going to miss that so much.
I am glad that I got to spend a couple of days with him in the run up to Easter when he was groggy but still cracking the jokes.  But I will remember the Dave that I spent my birthday with early last month: just the two of us, a couple of pints of beer and a bottle of wine…each!  I am going to miss that so much as well.
I have spoken to Jan this morning and she is so appreciative of all the messages of support she has received over the last couple of weeks and all the fond memories of Dave that are being shared with her.  Long may this continue.  She has a great support network and will be as strong as she can and needs to be.
Jan is also a very special person that does not deserve this and I am sure you share my sentiments of sadness and condolence.
Enough of my wibble although Dave and I could never have enough wibble.
We are all thinking of you Jan.
Gary xx

(l-r) Sarah Nias (Trustee), Dave Parsons (Trustee), Janet Parsons (Trustee), Gavin Barwell MP, Gary Coy (Trustee), Mel Moore (Trustee), Marion Burchell (Trustee), Gareth Burchell (on behalf of Awards sponsors Shard Capital LLP)