Staff take on The Big One in memory of friend and colleague

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Staff from Castleford’s Wilko store will walk up a 235-foot tall roller coaster today in aid of the domestic violence charity Refuge.

They will scale The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach as part of a year of fundraising in memory of their friend and former colleague Geraldine Newman.

Geraldine Newman.

Geraldine Newman.

Ms Newman, who was manager at the Castleford store, and her children Shannon, 11, and Shane, six, were found dead at their home in Allerton Bywater in February.

In her memory, Wilko staff have adopted Refuge as the store’s chosen charity.

Their roller coaster walk will be followed by an evening of live music and fundraising at Roundhill Working Men’s Club in Castleford on Saturday, October 15.

Wilko staff member Tracy Birdsall said: “Gerry was our manager and a friend as well.

“We have decided as a company to have Refuge as our charity of the year in our region.

“We spoke to Refuge and we thought what they do is amazing. They have specialist centres for children to help them get through it all.”

The October 15 event will start at 7pm at the club on Roundhill Road and include music, a raffle, tombola, food and bun sales.

Mrs Birdsall said: “It will be an evening of fundraising for a worthy charity.

“All the artists are performing free of charge. Businesses have also been brilliant with donating prizes for the tombola and raffle.”

Tickets cost £5 and are on sale at the Wilko store on Carlton Street.

Donations of second hand books, which are being sold for 50p at the store in aid of Refuge, are also welcome.

Refuge operates a network of emergency accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse.

It also runs a nation domestic abuse helpline which can be called 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.