Bank donates £20k to help cancer patients pay mortgage and rent

Nikki and Richard Bowdidge from the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, collect £10,000 from (lef

Nikki and Richard Bowdidge, from the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, collect funding from Nationwide branch member Julie Nurse and some of her staff - Credit: Steve Brading Photography

A bank has donated £20,000 to a charity in memory of an inspirational teenager who died from a rare cancer - to help other sufferers pay their mortgage and rent.

Tom Bowdidge, from Colchester, was just 18 when he was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma in his peritoneum and pelvis, an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. 

Mr Bowdidge did not let that stop him helping others, as he raised more than £170,000 for charity to help put an end to the illness before his death in 2013.

Since then, the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation - founded by Tom's parents, Nikki and Richard Bowdidge - has raised thousands more for cancer sufferers.

It has now been given a £20,000 grant from Nationwide branches in Suffolk and Essex after appealing for funds in a rigorous vetting process.

Julie Nurse, who oversees Sudbury Nationwide, said: “We all just had tears in our eyes after hearing Tom’s inspirational story.

“There was never any doubt in our mind afterwards that we wanted to help the foundation. 

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“The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation is a charity close to the hearts of many of our members, and has been helping young people with cancer keep a roof over their heads."

Nikki Bowdidge, said: “I was just amazed by how enthusiastic the whole team at Nationwide were.

“They absolutely got what we are trying to do and are completely behind Tom’s vision. We are thrilled to have such a brilliant bunch of people behind us.

“There are so many hidden costs of having cancer, especially at a time when young people and their families must take time off work for treatment. Sometimes, keeping a roof over their heads can feel impossible.

“We cannot thank Nationwide enough.”

All Community Grant applications must meet Nationwide’s eligibility criteria to become shortlisted.

The £20,000 Community Grant and support has come from Nationwide branches in Sudbury, Colchester, Dovercourt, Clacton and Frinton.