Hartford fundraiser Luke Claxton breaks the £70,000 mark in memory of mum

Pictured are (from left) Barley Mow landlady Gwyneth Davies, Karen Pryor from Woodlands, CLIC Sargen

Pictured are (from left) Barley Mow landlady Gwyneth Davies, Karen Pryor from Woodlands, CLIC Sargent's Karen Roberts, George and Luke Claxton, Faye Dean and Andy Claxton. - Credit: Archant

When Luke Claxton arranged a golf day in memory of his mum, Veronica, in 2009, he could never have imagined how successful his fundraising would become.

Five years on, and the 30-year-old electrical engineer from Hartford, with help from loyal supporters, friends and family, including partner Faye, dad Andy, and his brother, Patrick, has topped the £70,000 mark.

Reflecting on the achievement, he said: “I’m just proud so many people want to be involved. People keep coming back – it’s almost daft not to do it.”

As well as what has now become an annual golf day at Lakeside Lodge, Pidley, events have included raffles, barbecues, football matches, quizzes, bag packs, and cake sales. Luke also ran the Great North Run in 2009 and the London Marathon last year.

The money has gone to a number of good causes, mostly linked with cancer after his mum died of the disease in December 2008, aged just 50.

Last week, Luke presented the Woodlands Cancer Centre extension appeal and CLIC Sargent Children with Cancer with £6,000 each.

It was the proceeds of a Target 10k challenge he set, to raise £10,000 in 61 days from May 18 to July 18. In total, £14,556 was raised.

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Luke, who has two children, George, seven, and Ella, one, is now setting his sights even higher, and has launched Target 50k, in aid of CLIC Sargent Children with Cancer, although there is no time limit.

A variety of fundraisers are planned, including a 1,400-mile London to Lapland ride on exercise bikes at Christmas, cycling to all the football stadiums in London, a team entering the 100km London to Brighton challenge, and a three peaks challenge.

They will all take place under the banner of the newly-formed Veronica Claxton Memorial Fund.

“The idea is to get a lot of people involved and then nothing costs a lot of money,” said Luke. “With Target 50k, I anticipate it will take until 2016, but there’s no pressure.”

Possibly key to making the total will be a new idea for people to collect spare change. “I’ve had money pots made up for ‘Coppers for Cancer’,” Luke said. “We are hoping these pots provide a crucial part of Target 50k.”

Luke thanked all the people who have helped in any way, in particular, Faye, his dad and brother, friends Cory Blose, Simon Clark and Luke Harris, as well as Lakeside Lodge and Gwyneth Davies at The Barley Mow in Hartford.

INFORMATION: For more on Target 50k and to request a ‘Coppers for Cancer’ pot, visit www.veronicaclaxtonmemorialfund.co.uk. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/target50k.