The Claire Squires Fund

On Sunday 22 April 2012, 80 runners started the Virgin London Marathon to raise money for Samaritans.

What happened later that day made history for all the wrong reasons.

Claire Squires with her mum Cilla

The outpouring of support following the death of keen fundraiser, 30 year old Claire Squires, was overwhelming and resulted in an unprecedented amount of money being donated to Samaritans in her name.


Claire’s death left her family and friends devastated and both Samaritans and the general public in shock. Claire had been running for Samaritans, inspired by her mum, Cilla, who has been a volunteer for over 24 years.

The Claire Squires Fund
The support from the public following Claire’s death was amazing and humbling, and gave her family great support during the difficult days, weeks and months that followed.

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.

Cilla Squires, Claire’s mum


Claire’s family have set up a charity in her memory, The Squires Effect, to carry on her passion for fundraising.

The creation of the fund

The donations that came in from members of the public in Claire’s name following her death was unprecedented with over 80,000 unique users donating on Claire’s JustGiving page alone – the total donated now stands at over £1 million, which has been put into The Claire Squires Fund.

Samaritans wanted this to be used in a special way, as a lasting tribute to Claire. It was important that we made sure projects funded in her name reflected her interests and personality. As the money had come to Samaritans in an exceptional way, it was very important that we used this opportunity to explore new ways of reaching and supporting more vulnerable people. 

Samaritans also wanted projects made possible by The Claire Squires Fund to bear her name, leading to the creation of a logo, demonstrating the legacy that she has left behind.

 

The Claire Squires fund projects

Supporting more vulnerable people

Supporting those bereaved by suicide  Samaritans invested some of the money into the development of a partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care to run support services for those bereaved by suicide.
 

Evolving the next generation of our support services in the online environment  Samaritans is undertaking research into digital  support services . Our groundbreaking research with Bristol University looks at the role the internet plays for those dealing with suicidal thoughts.

 

Sustainability

Supporting Banbury branch – Claire chose to run the London Marathon for Samaritans because of her mum Cilla's commitment as a Samaritans volunteer at Banbury branch. The fund supports the continuation of Samaritans Banbury & District branch activity for 10 years.

Fundraising event – To reflect Claire’s passion for helping others through challenging herself, we developed Phone Free Friday in the same spirit.

Claire Squires Awards – The fund set up the ‘Claire Squires award’ on 1 April 2014, presented to volunteers once they reach 24 years’ service.

 

Understanding how difficult it is to cope after a bereavement and the need to have somewhere to turn when someone dies, Cruse Bereavement Care is honoured to have been chosen to deliver a joint project with Samaritans, which has been made possible through The Claire Squires Fund. We are deeply grateful to Claire’s family, in the midst of their grief, for thinking of others.  

This exciting and innovative project has developed groups, run by Samaritans and Cruse, for those bereaved by suicide. Bereaved people will be able to come together to share their grief and learn ways of coping.

The project means that we can reach more bereaved people, including those who are amongst the most isolated in their grief.

Working together, Cruse and Samaritans will pay tribute to the memory of this remarkable young woman, developing a service that impacts on the lives of thousands and which will honour Claire’s legacy.

Debbie Kerslake, Chief Executive, Cruse Bereavement Care