BREWERY staff have raised almost £8,000 for charity in memory of a colleague who died at a Christmas party.

Eamonn Kilbride had complained of chest pains at the Thwaites party, in the Whitehall Hotel, Darwen, in December 2012. He died from acute heart failure.

And in memory of the IT manager, who lived in Burnley, bosses at the firm in Penny Street, Blackburn, chose the British Heart Foundation as their charity of choice for last year. And alongside Mr Kilbride’s widow Julie and children Laura, Jade, Connor and Jack, a cheque for £7,894.05 was handed over to the charity.

Throughout the year, brewery staff took part in a number of fundraising events, including a bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats, the Liverpool Half Marathon and the Yorkshire Corporate Relay Marathon.

Thwaites staff and suppliers also made individual donations throughout the year.

Lynn Jepson, Thwaites HR director, said: “Eamonn was a caring and generous man who is greatly missed by the whole Thwaites team. It was therefore important for us to do something in his honour and we felt that the best way to do this was to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

“The team have been amazing with their fundraising efforts, from running to cycling to everything in between.

“I am very proud of how much time they have dedicated to raising funds in Eamonn’s name and am thrilled that the money will go to such a worthy cause.”

Barbara Dunn, BHF fundraising volunteer manager, said: “We are so grateful to all the staff of Thwaites in supporting the BHF to raise such a fantastic sum of money.

"Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives. Despite major advances in heart research, education and care, there is still a huge amount to learn, and a lot of work to be done. Support from companies like Thwaites raises vital funds that help the BHF continue funding research into heart disease.”