Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Parents who pledged to raise £10,000 in memory of son double their money

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Swindon business owners have smashed their fundraising target and have raised almost £20,000 for the charity.

It was a year ago that Karl and Charlotte Paul shared their plan to mark the year their baby son Oscar would have turned ten years old – had he not passed away in 2010. 

The pair, who now have three daughters, had various events planned to raise funds to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Bristol, which gave them support at the worst time in their lives.

The organisation provides free 'home from home' accommodation and support to families of critically ill children being treated in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Karl, who is chairman of Swindon-based digital marketing agency Smarter Media, said: “We had such grand plans and got off to a flying start thanks to a £1,500 donation from our friends at I AM Promotions. Then Covid-19 came along and those plans fell apart overnight.

“However we were not deterred, we picked ourselves up and we came up with alternatives which included me running every day in July, with the support of my friends, building up to 31kms on July 31. It’s one of the toughest challenges of my life but so worth it.”

Karl was joined by fellow business owners, several from Swindon, who ran, cycled and walked around 5,000km collectively during July. The money raised then put Karl and Charlotte well over their £10,000 target.

In August the couple were contacted by Dan Sinclair of Cross Street Garage in Swindon who recommended submitting a proposal to ARI Fleet and their Masterserve Foundation. This foundation will consider donations to good causes recommended by its members around social aid, development and healthcare.

Karl said: “We were delighted when they came back to us with an amazing donation of £5,119.67. This takes our total fundraising for the year to £19,050. We’d like to thank everyone who helped with our charitable efforts this year. Thank you for any financial donations, for sharing any social media posts about what we were doing. This will make a huge difference for families who are coming to terms with caring for a very sick child, or even the loss of a child.”

Oscar was born at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon on June 7, 2010, at just 25 weeks and two days’ gestation. He was so small he was transferred to St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol to be cared for in their specialist neonatal unit.

Since Oscar’s passing, the couple have already raised more than £30,000 in his memory. Their efforts during 2020 will mean they have raised almost £50,000 to support other families.

Pictured: Fundraising supporters Carl McCulloch and Vicki McCulloch of TRAK Employment Solutions, Lee Palmer of ARI Fleet/The Masterserve Foundation, Charlotte and Karl Paul, Ashley Cain of Moovahome, and Lance Tucker of Sunshine Window Cleaning