FRIENDS and family of Emily Parker – who drowned in a tragic accident – carried her kayak on a 13-mile sponsored walk to raise money for the mountain rescue charity that recovered her body.
Staff from Nando’s restaurant, at Castleford’s Xscape leisure complex, paid tribute to former colleague Emily – who died after her kayak overturned on the River Coe in the Highlands in April 2010 – by walking from the restaurant to her grave in Askern Cemetery, Doncaster.
Cristie Whitaker, who worked with Emily and organised the event, said: “It was a good day and we had lots of reaction from passing cars who pulled over to ask why we were carrying the kayak.
“It gave us a good opportunity to talk to people about the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team which is one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK but has to rely mainly on charitable donations.
“We have already raised around £250 from a raffle in the restaurant and we are yet to get a final total from the walk but we hope to raise around £1,000 from sponsorship.”
More than 30 people took part in the six-hour walk on Wednesday April 25, and staff at the restaurant hope to raise further funds at a fun day at Xscape, which is being planned for later this month.
Miss Whitaker, 20, has also organised a football match for staff working at Nando’s restaurants across the Five Towns at Garforth Town football club, on Cedar Ridge, on May 21.
She added: “Emily worked at Nando’s for three years while she studied at Pontefract NEW College and when she left to go to university.
“Fundraising for this charity is very personal to all the staff who had the pleasure of working with her.
“She was always smiling and the most fun person to be around, nothing seemed to be bring her down and she loved living life to the most.
“We want to say a huge thank to everyone who took part, including Emily’s parents and brother who walked with us on the day, and Jackson’s Coaches in Castleford, which gave us all a free lift back from Doncaster after the walk.”
To donate to Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team visit website www.justgiving.co.uk/Diane-Parker which has been set up by Emily’s mum Diane.