A son who set about raising money for good causes in memory of his mother has broken the £100,000 mark in less than six years.
Luke Claxton, 30, supported by an army of friends and family members, has been organising charity events since 2008 when his mum died after being diagnosed with cancer.
He reached the fundraising milestone after a group of 15 cyclists, led by Luke, completed an epic 85-mile ride around 15 football grounds in London in a day at the end of March – starting at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and finishing at Wembley.
The ride was part of a series of events he has devised as part of his latest fundraising challenge Target 50k – an effort to raise £50,000 for CLIC Sargent Children with Cancer as quickly as possible.
Luke, from Hartford, said: “We’ve always been doing bits and bobs. I started out in 2009 with a small golf day and I ran the Great North Run. Never in a million years did I imagine we would end up where we are now.”
The funds have been divided between numerous causes over the years but he has now decided to concentrate on backing CLIC Sargent. Luke’s Target 50k is just nine months old and already about £35,000 has been donated. A similar effort last year, Target 10k, resulted in £14,500 being raised in just two months.
“Once we hit £28,500 on our page that meant our all-time fundraising had gone past £100,000,” said Luke. “It was great that the bike ride was the thing to do it.
“We had such an amazing day. Everything that could try and make it harder for us did exactly that but we weren’t to be stopped.
“We battled through the rain and wind and with all the good luck messages and support coming in from online we made it to Wembley and had completed our part of the bargain. We received a fantastic boost at Upton Park home of West Ham when we were invited pitch side and to have a look around. From then on everyone was really buzzing.”
The group included Andy and Patrick Claxton, Gary Baillie, Daniel Moyes, Paul Curd, Steve Smith, Gareth Bell, Greig Sarath, Jamie Clark, Jonty Taylor, Lee Milton, Richard Cochrane, Craig Green and Mark Ling.
“This was just a little idea I had a while back and it went unbelievably well,” said Luke. “I said before the off I’d be delighted if the ride raised £2,000 but in the end we managed to collect over £8,000. It really captured people’s imagination more than I could have ever dreamed of. I can’t thank everybody enough for all their help and support.”
More fundraisers are planned, including a marathon run, the three peaks challenge and a cycle to Paris.
“The most important thing has always been to keep mum’s name at the forefront of everything,” he added. “After Target 50k who knows. I quite like the idea of going for a quarter of a million. At the moment anything seems possible.”
To support the fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/target50k or www. veronicaclaxtonmemorialfund.com.