Cheltenham's Sean Chawke picking up the pieces after fall from grace
JUST a few years ago Sean Chawke was flying high as one of the chefs at Heston Blumenthal's famous restaurant the Fat Duck.
But after a series of tragic events, including the death of both parents and his sister, he hit the bottle and his career went into free fall.
Now living just off Cheltenham's lower High Street, the 39-year-old is making every effort to get his life back on track and is receiving treatment for alcoholism.
Although unemployed at present, he is looking to get back into work and has even volunteered to start litter picking at the town's Jenner Gardens as a way of giving something back to the community for free.
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He said: "I walk through the Jenner gardens every day. I like to sit down on one of the benches and have a smoke. It's a nice spot.
"But it really hacks me off when I see people just leave stuff on the floor –whether it's food containers or whatever.
"It's so lazy. There are bins at either entrance so it doesn't take much effort."
The gardens, off the lower High Street, were opened in 2009 by volunteers who wanted to commemorate Edward Jenner's links to Cheltenham. The pioneering medic, who invented a cure for smallpox, lived in the town for most of his life.
Sean added: "Edward Jenner made such an important contribution to the world and I just don't like to see the garden we've got in his name treated as a rubbish dump. We should be treating it with more respect."
Sean has been given a special litter picker by the borough council and has said he will carry out a sweep of the gardens five times a week. Councillor Barbara Driver (C, Lansdown) and PC Suzy Armstrong were on hand to mark the launch of his new role on Friday.