HE was a familiar face to many as a cheery chap to be seen sweeping the streets in Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade for almost 30 years.

But just three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer this summer, Reg Waite passed away on August 23. Now his three devoted children have set about fundraising for the Brighter Futures appeal in his memory to ensure those facing cancer have the option of treatment closer to home.

Reg was just 60 when he lost his battle with cancer, and those giving him a proper send-off at St Swithin’s Church in Compton Bassett on September 7 raised £496 in donations on the day for the cause. His daughter Rebecca, an accountant who works in Chippenham, has also launched a Just Giving website which has seen donations pour in, raising more than £600 for the cause, breaking their £1,000 target. They are now hoping that those who may have seen Reg going about his work in the county over the years will dig deep in his memory to support the worthy cause.

Despite Reg not undergoing radiotherapy treatment himself, Rebecca, 36, along with brothers Simon, 34, and Matthew, 38, have decided to raise money for the Brighter Futures appeal so that other families facing cancer are not faced with a lengthy commute to and from Oxford for treatment.

“I don’t imagine people will have known about his passing because it all happened so quickly,” said Rebecca. “The cancer had begun in is oesophagus before spreading to the lungs and liver. By the time it had been found it was too late for any treatment.

“But even if he had been given radiotherapy treatment he would have found the drive to Oxford all too much, he found it really hard to sit – he wouldn’t have been able to make that journey travelling that distance.

“I know to a healthy person it doesn’t sound a big deal at all, but to someone who is unwell it is very hard to travel that distance every day for treatment. It is quite an ordeal for a sick person.”

Determined to do something about it, and help the Brighter Futures appeal reach its fundraising target, they have been encouraging donations in their father’s memory, and will soon be hosting a quiz night to raise even more money.

Sadly, Reg’s death was not the first time the family had had to deal with the aftermath of cancer after they were left devastated three years ago when older sister Lisa also lost a battle against cancer at the age of 41.

“After my sister passed away I took up running to help deal with the loss and I have continued with that,” said Rebeca. “I took part in the Chippenham Half Marathon at the beginning of September and I am looking at doing the Grizzly 20 mile off road race. Matthew has also started running just recently and Simon is a very keen cyclist so hopefully we can support Brighter Futures through that as well.”

To make a donation in Reg’s memory visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/reg-waite

So far £963,824 has been raised for Brighter Futures. The team is very grateful for every single donation and wish to thank everyone for their support. To donate you can send cut out and send in the attached form or log on to www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk.