NEARLY £2,000 has been raised in memory of much-loved community stalwart Tony Martin.

The Zurich Community Trust volunteering manager suddenly died following lung surgery on September 18.

Since then, dozens of people have paid tribute to his charming and positive character – many of whom were fortunate to work alongside Tony in his charitable endeavours.

Tony, who celebrated his 61st birthday last month, was considered to be ‘one in a million’ when it came to championing good causes and hundreds are expected to attend his funeral later this month.

He was born in Wembley but his family moved to Swindon in 1970 when his father’s company relocated to the town.

Tony joined Zurich, formerly Allied Dunbar, in 1995 working in the Pensions Review Team. He later moved to work for the Zurich Community Trust in April 2000 where he had worked ever since.

Since his death, his colleagues at ZCT have decided to set up a fundraising page so that people who knew what a great man Tony was, can donate to two charities close to his heart.

So far, almost £2,000 has been raised, to be split jointly between the Swindon Women’s Refuge and Swindon Young Carers.

Steve Grimmett, from ZCT, said: "The response following the terribly sad news about Tony has been remarkable. Clearly this is testament to the way Tony made people feel and the number of organisations he was involved with."

Writing on the Just Giving page, he added: “I was honoured to be a member of Tony's ‘work family’, as he referred to us. Tony was a truly remarkable man. His smile lit up every room he walked into.

"He had that very unique gift of making every single person he met, from whatever walk of life you were from, feel instantly at ease and special.

“Whilst Tony has left us far too soon, his achievements and his legacy will be truly astonishing. His work in the communities of Cheltenham and Swindon and beyond was pioneering.

"Tony was the ultimate networker and fixer with the single aim of making life that bit better for those going through difficult times. We shall never quite know the true extent of who or how many he helped through just being Tony but it will be immense.”

A service to celebrate Tony's life will be held at 1.30pm on Monday, October 16 at the Supermarine Sports and Social Club.

There will then be a short committal service at Kingsdown Crematorium afterwards for family, close friends and Tony's work family - the Zurich Community Trust team.

Donations to the two chosen charities can also be made on the day.

To donate, visit