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Tragedy at marathon lands charity fortune
AN Oxfordshire charity is to receive at least 10 years’ worth of funding in one pledge following the tragic death of a fundraiser.
It has been announced that Banbury Samaritans, the town branch of the emotional support charity, will receive a slice of the cash from the £1.1m pledged in memory of Claire Squires.
Miss Squires, a 30-year-old hairdresser, died while running this year’s London Marathon in aid of the branch where her mother Cilla volunteered.
She asked for £5 donations for her run but when her story hit national headlines pledges flooded in.
It is yet to be revealed precisely how much money the branch will get. However, the Claire Squires Fund said it would support the branch for at least the next decade.
Currently the branch receives about £30,000 a year.
The Samaritans branch will undergo a refurbishment of its training facilities for new members, and the fund will set up the ‘Claire Squires award’, to be presented to volunteers once they have reached 24 years of service.
The charity will also spend the cash on exploring new ways to offer online support, a partnership with Cruse Bereavement to support those affected by suicide and to develop an annual fundraising day for 2014.
Miss Squires’ mother Cilla this week spoke for the first time of her loss.
“We have been completely overwhelmed by the support we have received over the past few months since we lost Claire,” she said.
“The money donated in Claire’s memory leaves us lost for words and it has been a great comfort to know Claire touched so many people.
“She would have been excited to know so much money had been raised, and we have worked so hard to make sure that it is being used the way Claire would have wanted.
“Thank you to everyone who donated. No amount of money can ever bring Claire back but we can hopefully make a real difference and leave a lasting legacy for my beautiful daughter.”
Director Paul Gardiner said: “The overwhelming support for both Claire’s family and Samaritans following Claire’s death this April has been amazing.
“The Claire Squires Fund has allocated some money to support our branch in recognition of Cilla, Claire’s mother, being a volunteer with us.
“This will help us to continue our valuable service in the community and always remember Claire.”