CHILDREN’S Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) launched its first-ever Virtual Toddle, and thanks to match funding from Sir Graham Wylie Foundation, raised an outstanding £21,346 to help continue its support to babies and children living with heart conditions all over the UK.
CHUF’s Virtual Toddle took place throughout June, replacing the much-loved annual Toddle event which takes place at Close House. The Toddle is one of the charity’s biggest fundraisers which last year saw over 400 children and their families gathered for the one mile ‘Toddle’, raising over £25,000.
The Sir Graham Wylie Foundation supported CHUF’s Toddle last year and generously agreed to again sponsor the event this year. When COVID-19 stopped the physical event going ahead, the Foundation offered £10,000 to match donations raised by people taking part in the first-ever Virtual Toddle.
Charlotte Campbell, Director of Fundraising and Operations at CHUF, said:
“We were really sad that our annual Toddle event couldn’t go ahead, but the support from families who have got involved with the Virtual Toddle has been overwhelming. Families have clocked up miles by walking, running, cycling and even bouncing, all whilst raising vital funds for CHUF.
“Thanks to the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation generously offering £10,000 in match funding, the initial £11,346 turned into £21,346. We are so grateful for their ongoing support.”
Sir Graham Wylie said: “This is a difficult time for charities that are having to cancel their planned events and take a devastating hit to their fundraising activity, which is why the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation is doing our utmost to support charities to continue their work. When CHUF’s Toddle looked set to be cancelled due to COVID-19 we wanted to really get behind their first virtual event.
“It looks like the Virtual Toddle was a huge success which saw lots of families get involved which is amazing to see, and we are glad to have been able to contribute £10,000 in match funding.”
To help families safely participate in the virtual event, CHUF created a downloadable Toddle fundraising pack filled with ideas of how people could complete their Toddle, guidance on how to set up their fundraising page, a sponsorship form and other ways to raise money. The charity also encouraged everyone who wanted to get involved to abide by the social distancing guidelines to ensure the virtual event was completed safely.
All money raised from the Virtual Toddle will help CHUF fund the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and the charity’s work supporting babies and children living with heart conditions all over the UK.