|He's One in a Quarter Million|
Champion Charlie's fund-raising for Haiti soars above £250,000
Fulham schoolboy Charlie Simpson's fund-raising for the victims of the Haiti earthquake has risen above £250,000.
On Friday morning, the total on Charlie's JustGiving page had risen above £205,000 and charity Unicef UK, who will receive the money, confirmed: " With the addition of GiftAid, this brings the total to over £250,000. We are thrilled."
As word spread of Charlie's sponsored bike ride in South Park, he received thousands of messages of congratulations from as far away as Japan, Australia and America, plus European countries including Portugal, Austria and Bulgaria.
Charlie also visited Downing Street where he was personally congratulated by Sarah Brown, wife of the Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown also sent his own message from Northern Ireland saying: " Charlie's dedication in raising money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake is truly inspirational and a shining example of the kind of friendship, goodness, and compassion so often shown by British people."
Charlie originally aimed to collect £500 for UNICEF's Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal by riding seven times around South Park - a distance of five miles.
But as news of his epic effort spread, the money poured in, and Charlie was soon featured on the front cover of newspapers and being interviewed on radio and TV.
The funds will go to help UNICEF’s work in Haiti where they are leading emergency relief clusters on Water and Sanitation, Education and Nutrition as well as supporting on child protection.
Charlie has thanked his supporters on the JustGiving page, saying: " Dear Everybody,
" Thank you very much for all the money you have donated to the children in Haiti. The people in Haiti can now have a water kit, and some food and a tent. Mummy reads me some of my messages and I really like them! I can’t believe how money how much money I have raised, it has been very mad!!!
Thank you all very much.Love from Charlie Simpson"
Proud mum Leonora and dad Dan also added their own message: " To be honest, it is hard to know where to even begin thanking you all for your kind words, support and extraordinary generosity. We could never have dreamed of, or envisaged a response like this.
" Our friends and family obviously know how overwhelmed we are but I’m not sure how to convey our appreciation to those of you who we haven’t met before. I’m just going to say a huge thank you to all of you who have contributed, and to those of you who continue to donate… it couldn’t have been done without you!!!! THANK YOU!
" What I will say is that UNICEF who have been doing such amazing work to help the people, and specifically the children, of Haiti will now be able to do even more to help; thanks to everyone of you."
Unicef's executive director for the UK, David Bull, said: "Charlie is a real inspiration to us all and it was fantastic to see his tremendous efforts recognised by Downing Street.
In the weeks after the earthquake, Charlie was interviewed on radio, and news reports about his fund-raising were broadcast around the world, but now, says a Unicef spokesperson: " He has gone back to being a normal schoolboy."
UNICEF does not receive money from the DEC or from the UN budget, and relies on voluntary donations.
February 12, 2010