Charity 'overwhelmed' as Claire Squires donations top £500,000Reported by Metro.co.uk on Monday, 23 April 2012 (on April 23, 2012)
*The Samaritans has said it is 'overwhelmed' at receiving over £500,000 in donations following the death of 30-year-old Claire Squires during the London Marathon on Sunday.*
Tribute: More than 21,000 people have donated to Claire Squires’ charity (Picture: Caters)
Squires, 30, collapsed as she made her way along Birdcage Walk, near St James’s Park, with just one mile of the 26.2 miles left to run.
The hairdresser from the village of North Kilworth, Leicestershire, was raising money for the Samaritans, for which her mother, Cilla, had been a volunteer for 24 years.
She had been given £500 before the run but donations have soared since her death. At one stage £20,000 an hour was being given. By 7:45am on Tuesday, £232,193 had been raised via her JustGiving website page.
As of this week, donations made towards Claire's cause have surpassed the £500,000 mark, with £422,862.70 pledged to her JustGiving page coupled with £92,200 worth of donations in Gift Aid.
Ms Squires was treated by paramedics when she collapsed on Sunday afternoon but died at the scene.
Speaking about the flood of donations following her death, Rachel Kirby-Rider, from the Samaritans, said: ‘Obviously we're desperately sad and devastated as an organisation that Claire died whilst running the marathon.
‘She was one of 70 runners running for us and our thoughts are with the family at this time and it's really important to us that we continue to support the family during the desperately difficult time for them.
‘We're overwhelmed that people are supporting us and the tributes to Claire on her fundraising page and the donations that are coming in in memory of her are amazing.
‘We're a charity that doesn't turnover high sums of money so £500, £1,000 is a huge amount of money to us as an organisation.’
Claire's friend Andrew Carpenter also said: ‘It’s overwhelming support. It’s just so tragic it is her last fundraising event.’
Another friend, Rebecca Herity, wrote on JustGiving: ‘Such an amazing girl! Miss you so much already! Beautiful angel xxx.’
Ms Squires was a keen fundraiser who collected £1,886 for the Children’s Society by completing the 2010 London Marathon. She also raised £1,430 for the Royal Air Force Association by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in March.
Catherine Johnstone, Samaritans chief executive, said: ‘We desperately wish that it was not under these circumstances but we have been overwhelmed by the response.
‘These donations will be put into a tribute fund and, following discussions with the family, will go towards projects they feel would have been important to Claire.’
Sunday’s death was the tenth since the London Marathon began in 1981.
BLOG: Claire Squires' death shows how giving to charity can become a moving tribute
VIDEO: Metro's bird's eye view of the London Marathon
PICTURES: Check out more photos from the London Marathon
Links: Full news story
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