A funeral director in south west London has been praised for his tireless support for the Macmillan cancer charity as the group's popular coffee mornings returned to Kingston and Putney this month.

Jerry Smith, funeral arranger at Co-op Funeralcare in Putney, was recognized with a letter of commendation from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London on behalf of the Queen for his efforts in staging the coffee mornings in Putney and campaigning throughout the Covid-19 pandemic for the cancer support.

Jerry was presented with the prestigious commendation letter as Cop-Op Funeralcare outlets in Putney, Kingston and Hammersmith held their much-anticipated coffee morning event for the public on September 9, raising some £500 for Macmillan in the process.

In the letter, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, stated: "It has come to my attention that you are one of those people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with your willingness to work significant overtime in the height of the pandemic in addition to finding an ingenious way to run your annual fund-raiser for Macmillan Cancer Care. As Her Majesty The Queen’s personal representative in Greater London, an important part of my role is to recognise and thank those who have made an exceptional contribution to life in our great city."

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For his own part, Jerry thanked others who had helped support such a worthwhile cause:

"We have been raising funds and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support for quite a few years now, even through the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

"Macmillan Coffee Mornings have become such an important event for all of us here at the Putney branch, as this is such a worthy charity providing fantastic support to cancer patients, from the moment of diagnosis to the most drastic of circumstances. We have seen time and time again how much every little helps, so I want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who made a donation to help Macmillan Cancer Support be there for people who have been affected by cancer."

Throughout his time with the Co-op Funeralcare in Putney, Jerry, alongside Funeral Director, Sebastian, made it their mission to establish a relationship with the patients at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Both Jerry and Sebastian have gone "above and beyond" to become as knowledgeable of each veteran’s history, celebrating their achievements and working hard to ensure each funeral matched the great character of their late clients.

Jerry added: "I have been working with the Royal Hospital Chelsea for nearly two years now, trying to give the pensioners the best possible send off and have built up a brilliant relationship with some incredible people along the way. They deserve a huge amount of respect for their service, so I make sure I pay them regular visits."