A PLUMBER has met the ‘stranger’ who helped pay his mortgage as he battles cancer.

Steve Jewell, 62, was filled with emotion as he met Jude Castell, 34.

Jude and her colleagues at Caterpillar Marine Power UK Ltd, in Wimborne, are supporters of Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) which gives financial assistance to people with cancer.

In the past two years the company has raised £10,000 for DCCF through raffles, silent auctions and running in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival. Jude even had her long hair shaved off to raise money for DCCF.

And every penny they have raised has been used by DCCF to help local people with cancer, including Steve and his wife Cindy.

Steve said: “It’s difficult to put into words what I am feeling after meeting Jude.

“There were a few tears, but also lots of laughs. She’s a smashing girl and it was brilliant to be able to say thank you to her and her workmates for all they have done for my family.”

Steve was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago following his third hip replacement.

He said: “I had an op and radiotherapy and I thought I’d beaten it, but then they found cancer in my bones which was a huge blow.”

He continued: “Fighting cancer is hard enough, but as I am self employed and have not been able to work during my recent chemotherapy, my wife Cindy and I got into mortgage arrears which meant added stress.”

Steve and Cindy were told about the work of Dorset Cancer Care Foundation by their GP surgery.

They made a simple application and the charity paid the mortgage month they owed and another month on top.

Steve said: “It was a huge weight off our shoulders and left us able to get on with my treatment, without the worry about being behind with our mortgage.

“Now, meeting Jude and hearing about what she and her friends have done for DCCF – to the extent of shaving off her own hair! – is absolutely wonderful."

Steve’s wife Cindy, 57, agreed: “We have a very strong family and friends who have been behind us all the way since Steve was diagnosed, but it is really heartwarming to know that there are charities like DCCF and companies like Caterpillar, who don’t even know us, but are willing to help.”

DCCF was set up in 2012 by Eve Went, Pam Jeffries and Leslie-May Harrison from Poole and has since given tens of thousands of pounds worth of grants for everything from childcare and counselling, to household bills and transport to and from hospital.

Jude Castell said: “When Caterpillar Marine picked DCCF as our chosen charity, we had no idea we would go on to raise £10,000. But we have really enjoyed doing it and meeting Steve and Cindy who have been helped by our efforts is the icing on the cake.”

For more information about DCCF or to fundraise for the organisation, go to dccf.co.uk