Property boss abandons world of business to help homeless people in Sheffield

(l-r) Andrew Winter, Steve Hinshelwood, Paul Cocker, Mike Blundell and Ian Appleyard at Paul's leaving party
(l-r) Andrew Winter, Steve Hinshelwood, Paul Cocker, Mike Blundell and Ian Appleyard at Paul's leaving party
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PAUL Cocker, a founding member of South Yorkshire estate agent Blundells, is leaving the company to dedicate his time to charity work.

The 57-year-old, who has clocked up 35 years of service with the firm, will volunteer with the city’s Cathedral Archer Project, which helps vulnerable people find ways out of homelessness and social exclusion.

For father-of-three Paul, of Fulwood, finding people homes has dominated his professional life, which is why the cause is close to his heart.

Paul, a director at Blundells, said: “I’ve seen the company transform dramatically over the last 35 years.

“When I started work in 1977 fresh out of college there was just myself, Mike, his mum and one other employee. Now we have more than 180 staff.

“Our first business aim was to get a full page in the Sheffield Telegraph Property Guide – now we have loads of pages. I never imagined Blundells would grow to be the size it is today, but we have never lost that family-run feeling and that’s what has given it the reputation it has and deserves today.

“I’ve spent my entire working life in Sheffield’s property industry and I feel I want to give something back to the city.

“The Cathedral Archer Project is a great cause which helps people who aren’t privileged enough to have a safe roof over their heads, and if I can do anything to help that issue, then I will.”

He also hopes to spend time with his new grandchild due next year.

Mike Blundell, said: “We’ve shared many fond memories, such as erecting our own for sale boards back in the old days, to taking photos and valuing homes ever since.

“He will be dearly missed.”