‘The support has been amazing’ - Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON - Credit: Archant

A fundraising father-of-two – who topped a quarter of a million-pounds charity goal – is thanking the community for backing his lockdown campaign by raising £35,000.

Hunts fundraiser thanks community for backing his lockdown campaign by raising £35,000. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON.

Hunts fundraiser thanks community for backing his lockdown campaign by raising £35,000. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON. - Credit: Archant

Luke Claxton, from Hartford, set up The Veronica Claxton Memorial Fund in 2009, after losing his mum to cancer in 2008.

Since then, Luke and scores of people from across the district have taken on a series of challenges to raise money for several causes with a main focus on children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

From marathons, walks and cycling challenges all over Europe – an amazing £250,000 was raised for CLIC by February 2020.

The funds overall fundraising since the loss of Veronica stands at around £375,000.

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON - Credit: Archant


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CLIC is close to Luke and his wife Faye’s heart, after they helped support their son and daughter with a rare blood disorder.

But when lockdown hit – Luke knew he had to keep raising money but just in a different way.

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The 36-year-old said: “We usually raise about £50,000 a year but I sat there in March - when lockdown was announced just a few weeks after the high of finishing our 250k challenge for CLIC thinking how will we raise a penny?

“Every year we do a big European cycle and that had to be cancelled, so in May I created a ‘round the world challenge’ to complete within a month. We had to average over 800 miles a day.”

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON - Credit: Archant

Between May 29 and June 28 people walked, run and cycled 25,000 miles - the equivalent of going around the world.

“It went so well that we did it twice and raised £11,000 from 140 people taking part,” Luke added.

“Even if you just went out and did a few miles with the kids they all contributed.

“It was such a feelgood thing.”

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON - Credit: Archant

During the warmer weather, the ‘Backyard Challenge’ was also set up - with people gathering in their gardens or nearby green spaces to do multiple laps and raising £4,000 for Age UK.

In total around £35,000 was raised during lockdown.

“Families were all in their gardens dressed in fancy dress, it was a great sight to see,” Luke continued.

After Luke’s mum passed away, it was then that his fundraising drive set in, and he completed his first marathon shortly after.

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON

Hunts fundraising hits quarter of a million pound charity target - and tops £35,000 during lockdown. Picture: LUKE CLAXTON - Credit: Archant

“I could see that we could do more with the great support we had” he said.

“Then we began to hit targets set for over a few years in as little as nine months.

“The support we have received has been amazing – thank you so much to everyone who has donated.

“Keeping mum’s name alive and helping to support others is a real inspiration for me.”

A socially distanced trip to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for children to receive gifts from Luke and his fund is also hoped to take place later this year.

For more information on the memorial fund visit: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/target250k

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