Donations continue to roll in to Claire Squires' JustGiving page following her death while competing in the London Marathon on Sunday, totalling over £620,500 destined for the Samaritans so far.
Thirty-year-old Claire collapsed in the final mile of the marathon on Sunday and despite immediate medical attention, she did not survive.
Claire was raising money for the Samaritans where her mother Cilla has been a volunteer for 24 years. On her JustGiving page set up on 10 April she said: "Hi guys as you all know i am running the London Marathon. It was just going to be for fun. But it's a fab opportunity to raise money for my charity the Samaritans. If everyone I know could donate £5.00 that would be a great help and change lives."
When Claire started the race, she had managed to raise around £500. But donations have poured in since news of Claire's death was announced and almost 55,000 individual donations totalling over £620,500 have been made. £619,600 of this has been via online donations and £870 via text donations.
JustGiving waives fees
Yesterday JustGiving announced that it would waive its fees "out of respect for Claire’s memory", donating them back to the Samaritans following a "record" number of visits to the site. JustGiving's statement in respect to Claire's fundraising alone has been viewed over 47,600 views.
But the waiving of fees came following a swell of comments on JustGiving's blog page and via Twitter calling for the online sponsorship platform to do so. Comments have now been removed and the comments board closed on the site after their initial statement was posted on Monday.
The fees, 5 per cent of all donations, would currently total over £31,000 if they had not been waived.
"We are honoured to have played our part in enabling people from all over the world to pay their respects and donate in their thousands over the last couple of days," JustGiving said.
"The fees that charities pay us to handle their online donations enable us to provide a world-class system capable of handling huge volumes of traffic and donations at a moment’s notice, and to continuously re-invest to create new and better tools for charities to raise money.
"The huge groundswell of support for the Samaritans in Claire’s memory is a moving example of the power of the internet for good."
Samaritans will talk to family about how to use funds
Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said: "This is an incredibly difficult time for Claire Squires’ family and friends, and for Samaritans and all our volunteers.
"We are truly humbled by the reaction from the public following Claire’s tragic death, and are overwhelmed by the support they have shown. At an appropriate time we will be speaking to Claire’s family about what they feel she would have liked these donations to fund.
"We appreciate JustGiving’s kind gesture to donate their fees to the tribute fund that has been set up in Claire’s memory."
If you would like to donate to the Samaritans on Claire's behalf you can do so here: justgiving.com/Claire-Squires or by texting TRHN55 £5 to 70070.