THE SAMARITANS CHARITY has said the organisation has been ‘overwhelmed’ after more than £250,000 (around €300,000) was donated on a fundraising website set up by a runner who collapsed and died during the London Marathon at the weekend.
Claire Squires, a 30-year-old hairdresser, collapsed as she approached the final mile of the race on Sunday. She received immediate medical attention but paramedics were unable to revive her. The cause of her death is not yet known.
More than 22,000 people have now logged on to her fundraising page to donate to Samaritans, her chosen charity. A total of £255,939 had been donated as of 8.45am today.
“We desperately wish that it was not under these circumstances but we have been overwhelmed by the response from people donating in Claire’s memory,”said Catherine Johnstone, the chief executive of Samaritans.
These donations will be put into a tribute fund and, following discussions with the family, will go towards projects they feel would have been important to Claire.
Claire’s mother has been a volunteer for the charity for the past 24 years.
On her fundraising page Claire had written that she had originally decided to run the marathon for fun but had decided it would be a good opportunity to raise money for charity. She had asked everyone she knew to donate £5 to help change lives.
Her death was the tenth since the London Marathon began in 1981.