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‘However do you say thank you for something like that?’ – Friends rally round to pay for funeral of Yan, 20

19:03 26 February 2013

Yan Cherry-Jay, who died in a motorbike accident on Magpie Road in Norwich.

Yan Cherry-Jay, who died in a motorbike accident on Magpie Road in Norwich.

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Kind-hearted colleagues have rallied round to raise nearly £7,000 for the funeral of a young motorcyclist killed on his way back from work.

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Friends and workmates at Asda in Hellesdon, where Yan Cherry-Jay worked with his mother Jo Turrell, collected the amount in just a week through in-store collections, sponsored cycle rides and head shaves, and donations from their own pockets.

Paul Turrell, Yan’s step-father, said the donation would pay for a service and headstone in memory of Yan, and possibly for a bench to be fitted the churchyard where Yan will be buried.

Yan, 20, died following a motorcycle crash on Magpie Road, north of Norwichon Valentine’s Day as he travelled home to The Street, Rockland St Mary.

“Yan worked at Asda for three years, and it’s just so nice to know that he touched so many hearts up there,” said Mr Turrell.

“It’s not an easy time for us, but it makes it a bit easier to know that he was so loved.”

Mr Turrell said he and his wife had broken down in tears when they opened the donation.

“However do you say thank you for something like that? Sending a card and saying thanks just doesn’t seem enough,” he said.

Asda general manager Dave Lennox said the donation showed the respect colleagues had for Yan and Mrs Turrell.

“We have 700 employees here, and I think that everyone has done their bit,” said Mr Lennox.

“People wanted to help at such a difficult moment for Jo, and showed how very much respected and loved she is by her colleagues and managers.”

Led by community champion Saffron King, colleagues collected donations from customers as well as chipping in from their own pocket, topped up by a £500 contribution from the shop’s charitable fund.

Mr Lennox added: “Everyone has pulled together. It says a lot about this place – I’ve never known a shop like it.”

Yan’s funeral will be at 11am tomorrow at St Mary’s Church, Rockland St Mary.

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