| 16.8°C Belfast

Ex-pat helps Foyle Search and Rescue with surprise £16k donation

Close

Chairman of Foyle Search and Rescue, Stephen Twells said the money which equated to approximately £16,200 could not have arrived at a better time

Chairman of Foyle Search and Rescue, Stephen Twells said the money which equated to approximately £16,200 could not have arrived at a better time

Chairman of Foyle Search and Rescue, Stephen Twells said the money which equated to approximately £16,200 could not have arrived at a better time

A donation of $30,000 Australian dollars donated to Londonderry's river rescue charity has been described as a "blessing" coming a week after it missed out on its single biggest fundraiser.

Ex-pat Eoghan Reddan, who moved to Australia four years ago, put forward Foyle Search and Rescue when the company he works for sought nominations of charities impacted by the coronavirus who would benefit from the windfall.

Chairman of Foyle Search and Rescue, Stephen Twells said the money which equated to approximately £16,200 could not have arrived at a better time.

"It is amazing to get this donation which will go towards our basic running cost that will allow us to continue with our work," he said.

"It has been a real blessing considering how bad things have been for us with fundraising this year. We expect to lose between £50,000 and £80,000 this year because fundraising hasn't happened so far this year and probably won't be back to what it was for quiet some time.

"We did a virtual bucket appeal which raised £1,500 but we usually get an average of £20,000 from that.

"It was a real shock to get this email from Eoghan and it really could not have come at a better time for us."

Rachael Dobbins, Fundraising Co-Ordinator with FS&R explained how the charity came to be the recipient of the generous donation, saying: "The company Eoghan works for put up $30,000 for charity and asked its staff to nominate who think would be worthy and Eoghan immediately put Foyle Search and Rescue forward.

"The company don't want any publicity but are happy for us to say we received the funding and Eoghan is happy for us to say it was through his nomination.

"We had no idea Eoghan had nominated us and it wasn't until the company selected us for the money that Eoghan contacted us to tell us about the money and how pleased he was to be able to help us.

"Eoghan moved to Sydney five years ago and has been living in Bondi for the past four but clearly he still has Derry in his heart and Foyle Search and Rescue too. We posted this on our Facebook page and we have been overwhelmed by the response to that. Over 5,000 people have reacted to our news and the post was shared nearly 400 times.

"People are genuinely happy for us because they know, like every other charity our donations have been severely impacted by the coronavirus lockdown."

Belfast Telegraph