Community hero’s legacy lives on with new charity

Community hero’s legacy lives on with new charity

Jewish News-Mitzvah Day award winner Simon Cooper honoured on anniversary of his death

Simon Cooper and his sister Rebecca
Simon Cooper and his sister Rebecca

A new charity has been set up in memory of a Jewish News-Mitzvah Day Community Hero – one year after he died from lung cancer aged 33.

Simon Cooper’s family this week said the foundation set up in his name would provide funds to specialist medical care providers including hospitals and hospices, as well as research centres associated with cystic fibrosis and cancer.

Simon, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, was an ambassador for NHS Blood & Transplant, raised money for many different charities and devised the ‘Friday Night Rock’ service in Liberal and Reform synagogues.

When he was diagnosed with lung cancer in January last year he planned to raise more money for good causes, together with his sister, Rebecca Woolfe, by organising the ‘Simon says Let’s Party’ event. After he passed away last July, she took over the event, raising more than £20,000.

Rebecca, who is a trustee of the Simon Cooper Foundation, together with Simon’s mum Angela, this week said: “I’m really excited to launch the foundation to enable us to raise money and awareness for causes close to his heart. He was such an inspiration to so many people and will never be forgotten.”

At the Community Hero Awards ceremony last November, Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks said Simon “achieved so much in his life,” adding: “It is even more special to see that his sister, Rebecca, is carrying on his work.”

Simon’s family said he was “a show-must-go-on kind of guy” and that he “achieved more in his 33 years than most people will achieve in 100”.

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