50,000 thanks!

A Time For Tea event held on St Annes beach in memory of Edward Dee
A Time For Tea event held on St Annes beach in memory of Edward Dee

Thank you – 50,000 times over!

That’s the emotional message from a grateful Fylde mum after a charity fund named after her late son reached a notable landmark.

The Edward Dee Forever Fund for Meningitis Now, in memory of the 10-year-old St Annes schoolboy who died of meningitis last December, has topped £50,000 in a matter of months.

Edward’s mum Elizabeth Dee is full of praise for the way the Fylde public has rallied round to help boost the fund set up by his family and the achievement has been greeted by a leading official of the national Meningitis Now charity as ‘a real testament to her hard work and dedication and the esteem in which Edward was held within the community’.

Elizabeth said: “I never imagined that it would grow this big this quickly and I am so grateful to everyone for their wonderful support.

“I have mixed emotions in that I am so proud we have raised so much but of course I wish the circumstances were different.

“But Edward clearly touched so many people and it is marvellous that he has inspired this wonderful fund-raising effort in his name.”

The fund is set to be boosted further this weekend at a two-day awareness event at Booths supermarket in Lytham, while entries are now being taken for the 2018 Lytham St Annes Lions Swimarathon, which will have the Edward fund as its dedicated charity and is likely to provide it with its biggest single donation to date.

“We have been so moved with the wonderful reaction to the fund-raising right across the community,” added Elizabeth.

“It started with around £3,000 worth of crowd-funding in January and our first thought was to simply donate that to Meningitis Now. But the events to raise money in his memory kept coming and the Edward Forever fund has just grown and grown.

“From danceathons to afternoon teas to all sort of outdoor pursuits and being selected as a beneficiary at the Lytham Festival - there has been a vast range of events in his name and we are so grateful to everyone.

“We intend to keep the fund going and hope it can really help increase awareness of this terrible disease.

“It is vital people know just how dangerous it can be and that it can literally affect anyone.”

Beth Bottrill, Meningitis Now’s director of fundraising, said: “A huge well done to Liz and everyone in the Lytham area who has contributed to the special fund she set up in Edward’s memory on achieving such an amazing milestone, and thank you. It’s a real testament to her hard work and dedication and the esteem in which Edward was held within the community.

“The money raised is making a significant contribution to our ongoing lifesaving and life-changing work – funding research to find new and better vaccines for this cruel disease, raising awareness and improving the quality of life for those who have been affected and their families.

“As a charity that receives no Government funding we rely entirely on the generosity, energy and initiative of our supporters to raise the vital funds we need. We’re working towards a time where no one in the UK dies from meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need. Thanks to the support of Liz and those who have supported her, that day is drawing ever nearer.”

The awareness event at Booths in Haven Road runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, while more information regarding how to enter the Lions’ swimarathon is available at www.lsaswimarathon.org or from 07528 483999.