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Man looks to install tribute bench for sufferers of motor neurone disease

PUBLISHED: 07:36 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 07:36 25 June 2015

Graham Loton pictured at the place in Whitlingham Country Park where he wants to put a bench in memory of his mum.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Graham Loton pictured at the place in Whitlingham Country Park where he wants to put a bench in memory of his mum. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

It has been four years of frustration for a Lakenham man, after a bench installed in tribute of his late mother who died of motor neurone disease (MND) was stolen from Whitlingham Country Park.

Graham Loton discovered the bench had been taken when going for a run through the park on Father’s Day in 2011, and despite extensive publicity to find it, it was not recovered.

And four years on, Mr Loton has expressed his intentions to install a new bench in the same spot to honour those who have lost loved ones because of MND.

His mother, Elsie Weedon, died aged 50 from MND when Mr Loton was just 15 years old.

Mr Loton, who runs regularly at the scenic park, has continued to treasure the site where the bench stood, and now wants to put another bench in the same spot.

However, instead of it being dedicated to just his late mother, he wants to welcome other local Norfolk and Suffolk families who have lost loved ones to MND to share the same beautiful spot.

Mr Loton said: “Her death has always been tough for me as I was only 15 when she died and to see her live through the disease in my early teenage years was hard.

“It was only when I was older when I could speak about it.

“I was annoyed when the bench was taken, but I have continued running through the park and it such a beautiful location with the lake and recently I have felt that it was time to try and install a new bench there. It will be in honour of everybody who is or has been affected by the awful disease.

“I am hoping people will contribute a small amount, maybe around £10, toward the bench so they feel a personal attachment to it and the spot.

“I would invite anyone who has been affected in any way by MND and who likes the idea to contact me to pledge their support.”

Installing a bench at the site could cost around £800.

If you are interested in pledging money to Mr Loton for the bench then email grahamloton@netcom.co.uk

Do you have a Norwich charity story? Email kieran.lynch@archant.co.uk

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