Over 18 months Plymouth residents, groups, clubs and businesses were busy fundraising for the bereaved families and community of Keyham. Here are some of their stories:
Eight keen cyclists have performed a wheelie good deed for the Plymouth Together Fund by cycling from coast to coast across Devon.
Over the weekend of May 21-22 the outstanding octet cycled 110 miles from Ilfracombe to Plymouth and have so far raised nearly £1,500. Once paid in it means these latest donations will take the fund over the £100,000 mark.
The sponsored bike ride was a joint venture between construction consultants at Bailey Partnership and accountants PKF Francis Clark.
“I am humbled by the amount of support we received in the lead up to this event,” said Mike Fisher of Bailey Partnership, “This charity is very close to our hearts, affecting so many people in the wider community we live and work in, and it was great to have so many cyclists eager to take part.”
“Mike and I share a love of cycling,” added Giles Hutchings of PKF Francis Clark, “So when he approached me to jointly organise a charity cycle in aid of the Plymouth Together Fund I jumped at the chance.”
The masters of suspension (pictured) are: Dom Squire, Mike Fisher, Paul Passano, Simon Zawada, Paul Berne, Nick Grech-Cini, Giles Hutchings and Matt Dwyer.
An impressive £35,000 – nearly double the target figure – has been raised at a charity fundraiser for the Plymouth business community held at the Crowne Plaza Plymouth hotel. A week after the tragedy best friends, Paul Montgomery and Aga Agata Kalend-Łuszczyńska, decided to hold a fundraiser to raise money for the victims and families of the tragedy.
A Facebook message went out at 8.30pm that evening and by 1.30pm the next day all 300 seats were sold out! MP Johnny Mercer and leader of the council, Nick Kelly, attended the event and entertainment included an “amazing” dance performance by two youngsters from Street Factory, live music, a live auction and a raffle.
“I cannot find the words that should be said to express our gratitude to the business community for what we achieved together,” said Paul. “Plymouth truly did come together.” Paul also added that many local companies stepped up to help with the night and Santander fund-matched £2,500 towards the end total.
The creative talents at street art collective, Plymouth Artists Together, have been busy using their skills to raise money for the Plymouth Together Fund.
Four hundred pounds has been donated from a recent exhibition held at Leadworks in Rendle Street with artists donating 10% of their sales to the fund.
“I live in Keyham, very close to the incident and can remember the police presence and the helicopters,” said Mike Vosper, co-ordinator of Plymouth Artists Together. “We were planning to raise some money for our group to commission a public piece of artwork but decided this is a far better cause.”
A charity football match was recently held with nearly £5,000 donated to the Plymouth Together Fund. Keyham Vs Ford took place at the Parkway Sports & Social Club and was followed by a raffle with 200 prizes donated by local businesses. Before the match a minute’s silence was held in memory of the victims of the Keyham tragedy. The main organiser, Lee Davies, said: “Everyone came together and it was a great community spirit.
The match featured a real mixture of ages and we reckon there were well over 200 people watching the game. It was also good to see an officer from the Keyham Community Policing Team who was great having photos taken and playing football with the kids.”
Andy White and his partner Ruby (pictured) were friends with one of the victims, Maxine Davison, and were at home next door when the tragedy happened. The next day Andy decided to set up a justgiving page to help the victims’ families pay for the funerals of their loved ones and raised over £2,000 which has been donated to the Plymouth Together Fund.
Lorna Empson has been making Plymouth Together keyrings which she sells for £4. Out of this £3 goes to the fund and she is currently using the leftover money to pay for stuffing for her keepsake bears.
These will go to the 16 grandchildren of the Stephen Washington family. She is pictured here with her daughter, Lily Rose, who helps her make the keyrings. To buy the keyrings visit her Facebook page Lorn’s Unique Crafts | Facebook
Throughout September Plymouth and District Basketball League ran open scrimmages (practices) every Wednesday at Plymouth Marjon University. All donations to play were donated to the fund. Each week around 30 players attended of various abilities – from the newcomer to the experienced.
In total £180 was raised. Lindsay Tucker from the league also told us they had lots of photographer and videographers taking pics of the sessions for free to promote this series of scrimmages.
Alex Horner not only raised more than £1,000 through his own plastering business but also launched a GoFundMe page on his builders’ Facebook group which raised over £700. In his shop he sold green heart stickers to be displayed in vans and people gave what they could to donate.
“Two people came in with £200 each which was absolutely amazing,” he said. “What you can say about this horrible event is that it’s brought the community closer together and in the weeks that have followed we have seen the best in people.”
The Pennycross Sports and Social Club in Ham Drive hosted a Quiz Night and a couple of pool evenings to raise a grand total of £700 to be donated to the families. Club chairman Matthew Evans knew Lee Martyn for over 30 years.
“I was in complete shock when I found out,” he said. “Lee was one of the nicest people and was always smiling. He would occasionally pop into The Cherry Tree next door to the club. When we had the quiz people were just handing over £20 and £10 notes which was lovely to see.”