Yellow day for Heather as Sunderland EDF workers remember pal

From left, Amy Ingram, Julie Burton, Nicola Wood, Nicola Goldsmith and Leann Clough with Kelly Tew (front), raising money in memory of former colleague Heather Johnston (pictured below with husband Art).
From left, Amy Ingram, Julie Burton, Nicola Wood, Nicola Goldsmith and Leann Clough with Kelly Tew (front), raising money in memory of former colleague Heather Johnston (pictured below with husband Art).
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CALL centre workers today wore yellow in memory of a much-missed colleague.

Heather Johnston, had just celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary with husband Art when she died, aged 42.

Heather Johnston and her husband Art last summer.

Heather Johnston and her husband Art last summer.

She had fought cancer for two-and-a-half years.

Now her friends and former colleagues at EDF Energy’s Doxford International call centre, where Heather worked for 12 years, have teamed up to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity provided crucial care and advice to Heather and her family during her illness.

EDF team manager Nicola Wood said: “Heather was an inspirational person.

“She had so many friends at EDF Energy and we’re all really keen to support the charity and remember her.

“Throughout her illness, Heather was a tower of strength and I often found she would be trying to cheer me up.

“I’ve still got a thank you note she sent me where she signed it off ‘man-up’, and that was her attitude throughout.

“We’re now really proud to be giving something back to the nurses that helped care for her.”

Heather, from New Herrington, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and after undergoing a mastectomy and chemotherapy the cancer went into remission.

In May last year she was diagnosed with cancer of the liver, and in April doctors explained that there was no further treatment available to reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Heather died at her home with her family by her side, on July 24.

She leaves Art, 48, son Aaron, 24, and three-year-old grandson, also called Aaron.

Nicola has enlisted the help of Heather’s niece Amy Ingram, who also works at EDF Energy, and her close friends at the company to help organise a series of fund-raising events.

Today, all 1,800 employees at the Doxford site were invited to wear yellow, Heather’s favourite colour, and donate £1.

There will also be a cake sale, tombolas, quizzes and competitions throughout the day.

Tonight there will be fund-raising at the Beehive Pub, Sedgeletch, with prizes including a Marriott Leisure pass, meal for two at Nandos, Empire Cinema tickets, bowling sessions and a hair style and blow dry by Hair Scene.

Art’s over-40s football team will challenge a team of Heather’s friends at EDF Energy in a charity football match, at Hill View playing fields, tomorrow.

“We’ve not really set a fund-raising target,” said Nicola. “We just want to raise as much as possible for the charity.But if we can raise around £1,500 to £2,000 I’d be very happy.”

Twitter: @sunechobiz