£2,000 has been raised in memory of a man with learning disabilities who died of coronavirus earlier this year.
Seb Marriott organised a fundraising drive in memory of his uncle Nigel. He joined forces with other family members and friends to raise £2,000 for two beneficiaries, including national learning disability charity, Hft.
Nigel, who passed away in April after contracting coronavirus, spent nearly six years at a supported living service run by Hft, in St Austell. He was passionate about his local community, where he regularly spent time socialising and taking part in activities.
With his birthday only a few weeks away, Nigel’s family decided to raise money in his memory for two causes that were a big part of his life, COAST, a community-based course run by Hft, and Creative Workshop, an independently-run day opportunities service for people with learning disabilities based in Par.
After sharing information about their fundraising appeal on social media, the family was delighted to receive a big response from the community, who donated as a ‘birthday present’ in Nigel’s memory.
Funds donated to COAST are set to be used to buy new IT equipment for the service, as well as some new exercise equipment and gardening tools.
The community course, which currently supports nine people with learning disabilities, aims to build life skills, confidence and self-esteem, and support people to get the most out of their local area.
Over a 12 month period, the scheme covers a range of topics including money and budgeting, healthy living, using public transport and relationships.
Nigel had completed the course this year, and thanks to funds raised in his memory, the service has now been able to purchase equipment such as new tablets, which enable people to take part in research more independently.
Seb Marriott said: ‘We were delighted with the brilliant response to our fundraiser, which has meant we’ve been able to contribute to two causes that were very close to Nigel’s heart.
‘Nigel would have loved getting his hands on the new tablets and learning some more IT skills, although he probably have spent the whole time accessing the Nottingham Forest website for team news!
‘During a difficult year, we’re pleased and proud to have ensured a legacy for Nigel which is set to benefit local people for many years to come.’
The group is also looking forward to better weather when they can plant a tree in Nigel’s memory, use their new exercise equipment, and get their vegetable garden up and running.
Sue Chapman, Hft’s operations manager in Cornwall, said: ‘Nigel was a huge part of all of our lives here at Hft Cornwall. He made us all happy and will be missed for so many reasons.
‘Nigel was a much-loved member of COAST and his loss is still felt by members of the group, who have worked together to support each other through this very sad time and have worked on projects in his memory to help them through the grieving process.
‘Thanks to this incredible donation from Nigel’s family, we’ll be keeping his memory alive at COAST through the many new activities these funds will enable us to facilitate.
‘Donations like this make a huge difference to the lives of people we support, and allow us to continue supporting people with learning disabilities in the area to live the best life possible. We’re so grateful.’