Friends pay tribute to the Grumpy Funder

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Tributes have been paid after the death of a tireless Luton fundraiser.

The family and friends of Mark West were joined by Rotarians, business colleagues, charity representatives, community leaders and dignitaries at St Mary’s Parish Church in Luton on Thursday April 7 to remember and celebrate Mark’s life.

Mark was the first CEO of the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and held the position for 15 years.

He was born in Hemel Hempstead but moved to Luton as a small child where his late father Eric West was vicar at Holy Trinity Church for over 40 years.

The memorial service had been planned by Mark before his illness and included a poem entitled ‘The Book’, the words of which encompassed all that Mark enjoyed from life.

Mark’s life long friend Stuart Upton regaled the congregation, numbering well over 200, with anecdotes from their shared past together raising smiles and some laughter from the crowd.

So many community causes and charities have benefited from Mark’s advice, support and funding allocations and he has left a lasting legacy across the County.

He will be greatly missed by everyone that came into contact with him, some of whom referred to him as ‘The Grumpy Funder’.

This was also his pen name he used for the funding advice book that he wrote.

A collection was made and the proceeds will be shared between Keech Hospice Care and a new fund set up by the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation to be called the Mark West fund which will support projects centred around the inequality of opportunity that women face in society.

>Donations can still be made via: www.blcf.org.uk and Neville Funeral Service via www.memorygiving.com entering Mark’s name.