Daily Mail and St Paul's Covid-19 remembrance fund hits £300,000
Covid memorial donations reach £300k in just two weeks as 9,000 readers donate to campaign for monument
- Over 3,350 cheques have arrived, including from a 100-year-old Covid survivor
- Campaign is closing in on £2.3 million target to build remembrance landmark
- Almost 9,000 Daily Mail readers have helped chip in to the Remember Me fund
Whether sent in at the click of a button or as a handwritten cheque in the post, donations from nearly 9,000 Mail readers have now helped us reach a stupendous £303,000 for the Remember Me campaign.
Your immense generosity has helped the drive for a national memorial to Covid victims at St Paul’s Cathedral reach a magnificent £1.7million.
Leaders at the London landmark, who have joined forces with the Mail to help raise £2.3million for the tribute, said they were ‘amazed and deeply moved’ by the kindness of our readers.
It has been just 18 days since the campaign launched. Yet more than 3,350 cheques – totalling £123,845 – have already arrived, including one from a 100-year-old reader who survived Covid.
As much as £180,145 has been donated by almost 5,400 of you on the campaign’s online Crowdfunder page – taking reader donations to a grand total of £303,990.
From left: Nicky Wynne, director of development, Sarah Brothers, Remember Me Digital officer and project manager and Emma Tomlinson, Relationship Manager of St Paul’s Cathedral sort through letters and donations from Daily Mail readers
In addition, St Paul’s is expecting to claim more than £45,000 in Gift Aid, which would take the sum raised by readers to just under £350,000.
The cathedral’s director of development Nicky Wynne – who herself lost a loved one to the virus – thanked readers last night.
Describing the cause as ‘emotional and uplifting’, she said: ‘Out of grief and sorrow, you, the Daily Mail readers, continue to give so very generously, not just donations but with such moving and supportive words for the project.
‘We continue to receive cheques and beautiful letters – to date we have over 3,500 and counting.’ The director added: ‘We are all working hard to reach our £2.3million target and your incredible support and generosity never ceases to amaze and move me deeply.’
Other St Paul’s leaders also experienced loss during the pandemic with Oliver Caroe, surveyor of the fabric of the cathedral, losing his mother to Covid in April.
As well as the donations from readers, the Mail has secured more than £1million in pledges from high-profile donors including city grandee Lord Spencer, entrepreneur Matt Moulding and businessman and philanthropist Mohamed Amersi.
Together with the funds already collected by the cathedral, over £1,750,000 has been banked so far – more than 75 per cent of the target.
It is hoped the rest can be raised quickly so works on the memorial can be completed by March – the second anniversary of the pandemic which has claimed 128,000 lives.
Fewer than 1,800 of the Mail’s 5,000 commemorative limited edition Remember Me candles – sent as a thank you to those giving at least £25 – are still available. Among those to receive one is Margaret Jinks, who lost her husband in the first wave. She wrote: ‘A project dear to my heart as my husband Victor Jinks died of Covid. I’ll light the candle as a reminder.’
Louise Hardiman, who lost three members of her family, said: ‘Some days it’s hard even to breathe, the loss is so huge. This memorial helps to keep our loved ones alive.’
Janet Kelly, who also donated, said: ‘I love this idea as I do not want my sister Christine Downs to end as a faceless statistic of coronavirus.’
The London landmark is planning a magnificent new entrance which will lead to a commemorative space with a virtual book of remembrance immortalising the names and pictures of victims.
It is hoped the multi-faith memorial will become an important place of pilgrimage.
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