A FUNDRAISING group has generated £100,000 for the hospice that cared for a former member before his death.

Derek Fradgley died aged 70 in 2017 after a short battle with brain cancer, and in his final days he was cared for at St Richard's Hospice in Worcester.

Mr Fradgley was due to become chairman of the Worcestershire Ambassadors for 2018 and so Phil Dutton stepped in to assume the leadership of the group, which raises money for local good causes.

Mr Dutton naturally decided to focus on raising money for St Richard's in his year as chairman.

The Ambassadors Annual Ball, held at West Midlands Safari Park each October, raised £48,000, while 50 ambassadors took on a 50k Thames walk on September 8, drumming up £62,000, of which half was donated by staff and customers of Mr Dutton's Handelsbanken bank branch.

This meant that £100,000 could be handed to St Richard's for the Build 2020 project to expand the hospice to care for more patients, and the main atrium there will be named in memory of Derek Fradgley.

Mr Fradgley's other crusade was to promote and support prostate cancer testing for men and this featured as a charity supported by the ambassadors in 2018.

They raised £15,000 to donate to Worcester Prostate Awareness, a charity headed by retired consultant David Baxter-Smith which has now tested over 110,000 men nationally.

This year has been the second time Mr Dutton held the chairman role for the Ambassadors, having served in 2011/12.

Mr Dutton said: “I am delighted that the year has been so successful.

"In addition to the funds raised, the ambassadors were also delighted to be sponsoring partners with the Worcester Stands Tall campaign when the streets of Worcester were adorned with 30 large and 28 smaller colourful giraffes."

Mr Dutton added: "This year has been a fitting year in memory of a great and very generous man, Derek Fradgley.”