Team at Birstall pets store go on the run to raise funds for Carl

Staff at a pets superstore took part in a half marathon run from their offices to raise funds for a colleague.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 11:00 am
Carl Farraker with his family

The fundraising event by the team at Pet Brands was prompted by creative director Carl Farraker’s recent shock diagnosis of cancer with metastasis, meaning that he is now receiving palliative chemotherapy to help relieve his symptoms.

His colleagues came together and organised the half-marathon to provide support for his family, including his three young daughters, allowing the family to spend precious time together creating some special memories.

Bridgette Sturgeon, group head - national key accounts, who has worked with Carl for the last three years, started and finished the run from the Pet Brands offices in Birstall, accompanied by several members of the team who have been training on Fridays to prepare for the event.

Though it was a warm day, the runners were undaunted by the weather and were keen to show Carl their support.

Many company staff and their families came together to join in the run for anything from a few steps to a few miles, taking all relevant Covid precautions.

Vital Pet Group directors, Sunny and Ravi Sharma, also made an appearance dressed up as Toy Story characters, in costumes chosen by Carl’s little girls.

A Pet Brands spokesperson said: “Carl started his career with the group as an apprentice and 16 years later his skill, patience and easy-going personality have won him many friends in the workplace.

“Carl is being supported by the business during this difficult time, including a personal donation from the Pet Brands board of directors of £20,000, and his colleagues also felt they wanted to make a personal contribution.

“As well as the run, they organised a raffle and bake sale.

“Anyone who knows Carl can send a card or letter of support, to the Pet Brands offices c/o Bridgette Sturgeon, Pet Brands, Paramount House, Gelderd Road, Birstall, WF17 9QD.

"Donations are being collected at

“To date just over £8,800 has been raised and Carl and his family have been hugely appreciative of the wonderful messages of support they have received.”