A fundraiser spurred on by receiving the royal seal of approval from the Queen has raised £1,100 for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s NHS Superheroes appeal.
Mick Britton, of Woodlaithes, Rotherham, reached the milestone by selling posters depicting a collage of rainbow drawings and tributes to the NHS created by youngsters from his neighbourhood.
The 68-year-old was inspired to fundraise for the charity’s NHS Superheroes campaign after his daughter Sarah Britton contracted Covid-19. Thankfully, Sarah is now fit and well and is due to return to work as a staff nurse on Ward B5 at Rotherham Hospital soon.
“I first thought of the idea of creating a poster after listening to the Queen’s Easter speech in which she mentioned rainbows drawn by children. She thought they were a real beacon of hope in such troubling times.
“The poster has been very well received by the children who have created the artwork and their parents, who are all really proud. I’ve sold more than 70 to individuals and businesses across Rotherham. I think they have been so popular because they are full of rainbows and positive images which show the community spirit and feeling of togetherness which has come out of lockdown.
“The highlights of my fundraising has been receiving the letter from the Queen and seeing the club I support, Leeds United, along with players of Premiership Sheffield United and the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust give me their backing in various ways. I was surprised and honoured to receive a signed shirt and photo from legendary Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa after sending him a poster.
“Their endorsement enabled me to auction signed posters and shirts to raise more money for the appeal.
“Now my fundraising is over I feel proud to have exceeded the £1,000 target I wanted to reach. I’ve seen the best in people, particularly during lockdown when everyone was so supportive.
“I hope the people who have bought them will display them with pride. They will be something to look back on and remember how hard NHS staff worked and how communities like ours in Rotherham came together to boost their spirits when it really mattered.”
Mick’s posters were professionally printed in Rotherham and cost a minimum of £10 each to purchase.
In May, Mick wrote to Her Majesty to tell her about his fundraising plans and received a note back from Windsor Castle’s Deputy Correspondence Coordinator, Jennie Vine, who said:
“Her Majesty was interested to know that you are selling copies of the poster to raise funds for your local NHS charity and it was most kind of you to wish to make the Queen aware of your initiative and to share with Her Majesty the colourful and inspiring pictures drawn by the children.”
Mick said he was ‘absolutely awe-struck’ to receive the letter.
“It made me feel quite emotional because it’s not about me – I wanted the children’s artwork to be recognised for good it’s doing to boost morale,” Mick added.
In April, the charity launched the Rotherham NHS Superheroes appeal encouraging the public to support the town’s dedicated NHS staff through the Coronavirus crisis.
The campaign aims to raise funds for care packages, refreshments and treats during busy shifts, hotel accommodation and access to health and well-being initiatives to boost morale and to ensure our colleagues can remain strong and resilient.
The campaign has almost reached the £20,000 milestone.
Martin Havenhand, Chairman of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We’d like to thank and congratulate Mick for his fundraising efforts and thank everyone who has supported him. His posters are a lovely way to remember the joy and positivity that youngsters have brought to us all through the creation of their rainbows. We are so pleased to hear he reached the fundraising milestone he hoped to. The funds will be very much appreciated. ”
The Rotherham NHS Superheroes campaign is still live. Donations can be made via JustGiving. Alternatively, call the charity on 01709 426821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A host of virtual fundraising ideas can also be found on the Trust’s website – http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/Fundraising/Virtual_Fundraising/