In October this year, the Foundation received two separate Championing Grant Applications from different employees wishing to support a charity local to our Hull Head Office – Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group. Butterflies provide much-needed support to people with dementia, and their families and carers.
June Cooke founded butterflies in 2010 after her father, George, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008. She found there were services and support available for the individual diagnosed with the condition, but very little for their families and those closest to them and limited access to groups which welcomed both. It was this need that was the beginning of Butterflies and ten years on, the charity welcomes around 150 members who enjoy monthly social gatherings, singing, walking, community events, day trips and support for them and their families.
With two championing applications received, we contacted June at Butterflies to share the good news that Butterflies had been nominated to receive £1,000 from the Matthew Good Foundation. It was during this conversation that we learned that as well as being a fantastic local charity, June’s dad who inspired her to set up the charity, actually used to work for the John Good Group!
George Cooke used to work at the docks in Hull as a docker for John Good Shipping in the 1960s, which would have involved waterfront manual labour in loading and unloading ships. Sadly, during his time at the docks, George had an accident and broke his neck with doctors telling him he would have to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. However, defying the odds, George managed to recover and amazingly was able to walk again. Although he couldn’t go back to the physical work on the docks, George went back to work in the offices and was also a dock first aider, perhaps inspired by the help he’d received himself.
June remembers these years with her dad fondly; she specifically remembers going on their first family holiday abroad to Belgium and that George organised it through the John Good Group’s travel department with a staff discount!
What a fantastic story and how lovely that as a Foundation that supports the causes our employees care about, we’ve donated funds to a fantastic local charity that is George Cooke’s legacy when he worked for the John Good Group all that time ago.