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'He went to work and never came home' - Fiancée opens up almost one year after factory death

PUBLISHED: 15:16 15 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:27 15 September 2019

Jon Collins, the pest control worker and fishing enthusiast who died at Banham Poultry in October. PHOTO: Sara Dutton

Jon Collins, the pest control worker and fishing enthusiast who died at Banham Poultry in October. PHOTO: Sara Dutton

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The fiancée of a man who died at a Norfolk factory has spoken about the impact of his death one year on, as she launches a fundraiser in his memory.

Friends and family carry Jon Collins' coffin, adorned with a frog and a rabbit mask, into the chapel at the Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park at Hainford. Mr Collins died at an incident at Banham Poultry. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFriends and family carry Jon Collins' coffin, adorned with a frog and a rabbit mask, into the chapel at the Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park at Hainford. Mr Collins died at an incident at Banham Poultry. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jonathan Collins, 34 and from Watton, died alongside Neil Moon, 49 and from Lincolnshire, at Banham Poultry in Attleborough in October last year.

They were subcontractors working at the site for a pest control company.

Investigations are continuing into their death, with an inquest yet to conclude what happened, and Mr Collins' fiancée Sara Dutton has opened up about how she and her three children have coped.

"It's a terrible accident that never should have happened," she said. "He went to work one day and never came home.

"I have been using Jon's death as a way of talking about feelings as it isn't something that we as Brits really do."

At the time of Mr Collins' death, their children were 18 months, four and six years old.

Miss Dutton said: "I have been really open in talking about Jon's death with my children, and I feel like that has really helped me.

"When he died I would speak to them about it and explained that the funeral was a celebration of life. They helped pick the food for it and chose their own outfits."

Miss Dutton added: "I had people approach me who had family members die and they asked me how to tell their children about it, I was humbled to be able to make a difference in their lives.

"It is okay for everyone to feel differently, there is no set process for grief.

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"I was very lucky that as soon as my mum found out she got the train and stayed for seven weeks.

"At first we didn't get any help, but our family liaison pushed for us. It was such a heartbreaking time, so to have somebody in our corner fighting for us was meant so much.

"I had counselling once a week for five months and the children also had somewhere to go to deal with their feelings."

Now, the family is raising money in his memory.

Family to fundraise in memory of father-of-three

Miss Dutton and Mr Collins' sister Sarah Diggins plan to raise money in his memory by white water rafting in Lee Valley.

The charity the family is raising money for is Get Hooked On Fishing, which delivers fun and interactive activities to keep children away from a life of crime.

Mrs Diggins said: "Jon was really into his extreme sports and anything that was fun. We decided that when it came up to the anniversary of his death each year we would go and do something completely out of our comfort zone that he would have loved.

"Although they are not a local charity, we are raising money so that they can do activities in Norfolk."

Miss Dutton said: "Jon was taught how to fish by his grandad and he was so excited to teach our children, mostly our son.

"This is something he would be so happy to be a part of."

To donate to the family visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/justforjon

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