Fundraising pensioner beats lockdown by going online
A well-known Shrewsbury pensioner, who has raised thousands of pounds for us, has swapped her collection bucket for a mousemat and turned to the internet to fundraise.
For more than 20 years, the Beharrell family have raised thousands of pounds for us in donations from shoppers visiting Shrewsbury’s indoor market.
In the years before his death in 2009, Gordon Beharrell raised more than £70,000 and since he died his wife June and their sons have continued his legacy. In total they have raised an incredible £145,000.
Each Friday and Saturday before the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, June could be found sitting quietly in the entrance to the town’s market, next to the lifts, armed with her collection bucket and donation tin.
But since lockdown in March, the 81-year-old has been unable to do this – much to her dismay.
“I have really missed the connection with people,” said June. “Sitting and collecting in the market, has taught me great empathy. Now I miss having the opportunity to show love and care for people.”
She has been desperate to return to her spot but for her own health she has not been able to do so.
So now she is collecting online. To donate go to justgiving.com/campaign/JuneBeharrell2020
“I’m amazed that people have already donated. They are so kind,” she said.
Fundraising runs in June’s family.
Her son Adam was a constant at her side when she was able to collect in the market, her other sons Matthew and John have cycled to raise money for the hospice and her grandson raised £1,000 by running a mile a day – totalling 26.1 miles or the equivalent of a marathon when he was just eight years old.
“We started collecting for Severn Hospice because two friends were cared for there and the support they got was second to none,” said June.
“And that is what everyone says; all the people who come to the market tell me about the loving care their family and friends have received. You’d be amazed how many people have been touched by the hospice.”
Norma Ross, our director of income generation, has known June for more than two decades and understands her frustration at not being able to fundraise.
“We are facing difficult times financially and June, and everyone who gives her a donation, are so important to us.
“Our finances have been hit incredibly hard. It is people like June that help to keep us going.
“She is a wonderful person and, along with her late husband Gordon, has raised a staggering amount of money for us.
“We are so grateful to the Beharrell family for all they have done. June may be in to her 80s now, but she is so determined to fundraise for us, and we really admire her for that.
“She’s been most upset that she couldn’t go back to her spot at the Market Hall, but we just couldn’t let her endanger her health.
“The idea of fundraising online is great – she is able to do something she loves, safely, while at the same time reach as many of our supporters as possible.”
Kate Gittins, market manager said: “The market’s customers love her: for some she has become their confidante, for others, particularly those visiting the market for the first time, she provides a warm welcome with her charming smile and generosity of spirit.
“Her fundraising over the years has helped to fund the general running costs of the hospice and enhanced the care of thousands of people over the years. By going online, she will be able to continue this