Press release: Claire's legacy - helping Samaritans reach more vulnerable people

On Sunday 22 April 2012, over 80 runners started the Virgin London Marathon in support of Samaritans. What followed will sadly go down in history. The outpouring of support following the death of 30 year old Claire Squires was unprecedented, resulting in over £1 million being raised for Samaritans.

Keen fundraiser Claire was running for Samaritans, in recognition of her mum, Cilla, having been a volunteer with Samaritans for the past 24 years. This was not Claire’s first challenge - she had completed the London Marathon in 2010 and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in March this year.

Working alongside Cilla, Samaritans has developed a programme of projects that reflects how Claire would have wanted this incredible sum of money to be used. Claire’s legacy being: Samaritans taking positive steps into exploring the viability of online support; the development of a partnership with Cruse Bereavement to enhance the support we can provide to those bereaved by suicide; supporting the continuation of Samaritans Banbury & District branch, Cilla’s branch, to service the local community; and developing an annual fundraising day, or event, in Claire’s memory, which will launch in 2014.

Cilla Squires said:
“We have been completely overwhelmed by the support we have received over the past few months since we lost Claire.  The money donated in Claire’s memory leaves us lost for words and it has been a great comfort to know that Claire touched so many people.

“She would have been excited to know that so much money had been raised, and we have worked so hard to make sure that it is being used the way Claire would have wanted.

"Thank you to everyone who donated, no amount of money can ever bring Claire back but we can hopefully make a real difference and leave a lasting legacy for my beautiful daughter.”

Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive, at Samaritans added:
“No one at Samaritans will forget Sunday 22 April 2012 or the days that followed. The staggering amount of money donated in Claire’s memory will create a lasting legacy at Samaritans. We have spent the last few months working with Cilla, and the rest of Claire’s family to decide how best to use Claire’s Fund.

“We are developing a number of new projects to reach more vulnerable people, by exploring the viability of providing support in the online environment, and developing a mobile app to support people ‘on the go’.

“We will continue to work closely with Claire’s family and friends, to make sure that the projects, in Claire’s name, reflect how she would have wanted the fund to be used, helping and  providing support to those in need.”

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For further information contact the press office at Samaritans, 020 8930 8300 or via email k.rowan@samaritans.org.
 

Notes to editors

The Squires family will not be doing any media interviews at this time.  The family have asked that the media do not contact them directly, and request that all media enquiries are directed to the Samaritans press office.

Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. People contact Samaritans when they are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to. More than 20,000 Samaritans’ volunteers are available round the clock, every day of the year. The helpline provides a safe place to talk and all conversations are private.

To contact Samaritans call 08457 90 90 90, email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.