A NEWSAGENT in Old Town is taking a creative approach to fundraising in celebration of Father’s Day.

Shop runner Rosemary Earle is letting her customers feature photos of their father figures on the shop window in return for a donation to Brighter Futures.

The charity needs an extra £700,000 to bring cutting edge radiotherapy treatment to Swindon. The money will be used to buy modern clinical equipment for the new facility while Oxford University Hospitals invests £18 million to build it.

Rosemary told the Adver: “Given that it is the week of the festival, and given that Brighter Futures is approaching the point of buying the radiotherapy centre, we thought we would give them an extra boost to help them get there quicker. They’re almost there now.

“So many people are relieved that there will be a radiotherapy unit in the town and they won’t have to travel to Oxford to receive treatment. We’re all very excited and pleased, it’s just wonderful. It’s such a kind thing for the community to do to make life a little easier for people.

The shop worker hopes customers will come forward to pin pictures of their father figures on the family display out front. But she made it clear that she didn’t want to be exclusive about it: “I think everybody benefits from having as much support in their life as they can get. Everybody needs a father figure, sometimes it’s a father but it could be an uncle or a sports teacher.

Rosemary’s late father Jesse Houghton, who would’ve been 102 years old today, was an important figure in the shop worker’s life: “I thought I’d start the ball rolling with a picture of Dad. He was a great bloke. He took me for bicycle rides, taught me how to repair a puncture, and showed me how to do a plug if the fuse blew, all sorts of useful things. He used to read to me at night too.

“He was quiet, determined, had a sense of humour, but he was also incredibly strong-minded and stubborn. You need someone like that.”

Collection money raised over the week will go straight to her chosen charity. By bringing the radiotherapy unit to Swindon, Brighter Futures will reduce time and travel costs patients face when receiving treatment for their cancer.

Anyone who’d like to salute a reliable rock in their life can do so at the newsagent on 35 Newport Street in Old Town.