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Inspirational family raise money in memory of daddy

Sarah Wilson and her four daughters held a charity ball to raise money for Daisy's Dream

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas


01635 886639

Inspirational family raise money in memory of daddy

A MOTHER-of-four from Wash Water has praised her daughters for their efforts in helping to raise £25,000 for the charity that enabled them to deal with the loss of their beloved father.

Sarah Wilson organised a charity ball for her late husband, Paul Wilson, at Donnington Valley Hotel recently – an event that benefited Berkshire-based children’s charity, Daisy’s Dream, which supports children and their families who have been affected by the life-threatening illness or bereavement of someone close to them.

Mr Wilson died aged 41, on May 12 last year after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymph-oma, a form of blood cancer, leaving four girls – Poppy, 10, Annabelle, nine, Holly, six, and Georgie, two.

Mrs Wilson staged the ‘Ball for Paul’ to raise money for the charity,which guided her daughters through their period of grieving.

Poppy, Annabelle and Holly all received in-school support from the charity and benefited from one-to-one sessions with charity director Gill Stevens.

However, they have all made such good progress that the three girls, pupils of Burghclere Primary School, have recently stopped sessions with the charity.

The ball is the latest fundraising venture by the Wilsons, who have raised very large amounts for Daisy’s Dream over the past year.

Annabelle took part in a triathlon last month, while the family also held a successful charity football match last October. Mrs Wilson even ran the London Marathon weeks before her husband’s death, raising  £17,000 for Lymphoma Action. 

Sponsored by Newbury-based accommodation business Executive Serviced Apartments, the black-tie ‘Ball for Paul’ saw more than 100 guests come together.

Mrs Wilson praised the ‘amazing’ Cristian Beadman from Dreweatts auctioneers, whose engaging presence helped raise £11,000.

There was also a bidding board with smaller items, which included a sunset canvas picture painted by Poppy, a cake baked by Annabelle, sunflowers planted by Holly, and another canvas painted by Georgie.

The girls’ four prizes raised £1,950 alone.  

Mrs Wilson said she was overwhelmed by the evening’s atmosphere and guests’ generosity.

The 36-year-old said: “The amount of love that was in the room for Paul was just amazing.

“We had 140 friends and family turn up. We would have liked to have invited more but there just wasn’t the capacity.

“Everyone made such an effort. Paul always loved to get dressed up in black tie so we thought it would be fitting.”

Local band The Extra Covers and magician Ian Vallance provided entertainment on the night, which also saw Mr Wilson’s motorbike friends donate a £5,000 cheque.

With ticket sales totalling £7,000 and the potential possibility of The Greenham Trust match-funding another £5,000, the Wilsons have smashed their original fundraising target.

Mrs Wilson said she remained indebted to her friends and family for their support and vowed the she and her four daughters would keep on raising money for Daisy’s Dream. 

She said: “We’ve such a huge network of friends. People just think, ‘thank God it’s not me’, but they are just more generous than you can imagine.

“Now it’s about living our life, moving forward and making Daddy proud.”

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