STAFF at a town centre restaurant raised £1,142 for a charity after a colleague died suddenly last year.

The Falco Lounge, which is located in the Glass Works, spent Christmas running a variety of activities to raise funds for the National Autistic Society to honour their former head chef Garath Smith – known as Gaz.

General manager Lucy Franks said: “Unfortunately Gaz suddenly passed away in August.

“It was heartbreaking and came as a massive shock to all of us.

“His son Theo, who’s his absolute world, has autism and at his funeral people could donate to the National Autistic Society.

“We thought we could carry that on as a nice way to honour him.”

Staff ran a raffle, with prizes including footballs signed by Manchester United and Barnsley FC players, paid for the ingredients of a custom Jack Frost charity cocktail, donated half the money from their weekly quizzes over December to charity and ran a breakfast with Santa event.

“Gaz’s wife and friends still come in every week,” Lucy added.

“We’ve always been like a family so they’re happy to see how it all worked out.

“We’re amazed by the community outreach – we set the goal of a grand but never thought we would reach it.”