Counting days over for charity stalwart

Customer service officers Karen Pridmore, right, and Emily Rushton with Maurice and Joy Wyatt
Customer service officers Karen Pridmore, right, and Emily Rushton with Maurice and Joy Wyatt

YEARS of painstakingly counting charity collection money by hand is over for a stalwart Southwick volunteer.

Maurice Wyatt has been Marie Curie Cancer Care’s collection box co-ordinator in East Sussex since 1998 and over the years, has counted out £138, 952 by hand on his kitchen table.

Now, the job has been made much easier, with the donation of a special set of bank weighing scales.

The NatWest branch in East Street, Shoreham, has seen Maurice pop in more than 800 times in the last 16 years, to pay in the collection cash.

To mark his long service, staff have presented him with electric cash weighing scales, which can count notes as well as coins.

Branch manager Chris North said: “He and his wife have both done a fantastic job for many years.”

It all started back in March, 1997, when Mr Wyatt and his wife Joy retired at the age of 65.

Mrs Wyatt joined Marie Curie as a volunteer in the Sussex fundraising office and remained until 2002, when circumstances there changed and she also developed age-related macular degeneration, which meant it was too much of a strain to look at a computer screen.

Her efforts did not stop there, though, as she went on to organise volunteers for the annual Great Daffodil Appeal at the Holmbush Centre, every March from 2002 to 2012.

During that period, more than £30,000 was raised and, in the meantime, Mr Wyatt was still busy with his work as collection box co-ordinator.

Mr Wyatt said: “The staff at NatWest’s Shoreham branch have been very supportive of our efforts for Marie Curie. I have been in this bank so many times.

“In the early days, I got a lot of silver but now I seem to get a lot of pennies and 2p pieces. The scales will help, especially with the pennies.

“I can just scoop them up and put them on the scales. Sometimes, when you are counting on a table, you lose count.”

Mr Wyatt said Chris North and his staff were ‘very charity minded’ and had raised a great deal for various charities over the years.

Last week, the branch was supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care and recently, £2,519.86 was presented to Hounds for Heroes, in memory of Shoreham-born soldier James Brynin.