A CHARITY walk in memory of a local man has raised £1,100 for the Brain Tumour Charity.

Andrew Butler, known as “Barbie”, was 47 when he passed away at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey in July, leaving two children, Natasha, 13, and Jake, 11.

“We decided we wanted to do something nice for the family, so we organised a sponsored walk,” said Jenna Bayliss, Andrew’s ex-wife, with whom he remained good friends.

“Andrew was in St Peter’s for three weeks with a bleed to the brain and suffering from a stroke,” Jenna went on. “He had melanoma cancer and a brain tumour, but died in hospital because of another brain bleed.

“Natasha and Jake last saw their dad in May for five minutes because of the COVID-19 restrictions, which left them not being able to stay with him every other weekend.

“Sadly, they never got to see their dad even when they found out he had cancer, and then when he died.

“That was how the walk came about, to celebrate Andrew’s life.

“He grew up in Maybury, where his mum still lives, although he later moved to Knaphill. We wanted to keep the walk local, so we started at Scotland Bridge in West Byfleet, and went down the canal to have a balloon release in the park at West Byfleet.

“And it was special, too, because everyone involved was Natasha and Jake’s family. Caitlin and Eoghan Bristow are their step-sister and step-brother, Dylan and Rafferty Hill are their cousins and Jenny Hill their great-grandmother.

“It was 5km and took us about an hour. The balloon release was lovely and very emotional, with some beautiful messages from the children written on the balloons.

“Natasha said, ‘Love you to the moon X’ and Jake said, ‘I will always remember all of our times together. Your wings were ready but my heart was not. X’

“I said, ‘Thank you for our beautiful children. I promise to keep your memory alive. I will miss you, X.

“There were some light-hearted ones, too, which was nice, with Caitlin and Eoghan thanking Andrew for all the chocolate and cookies!”

Jenna also paid tribute to the generosity of those who had contributed to her fundraising efforts.

“We have raised around £1,100 in Andrew’s memory and I must especially thank the people who worked with Andrew at McLaren. Their donations came to £400.

“Natasha and Jake are so grateful and love that their dad was liked by so many people.”