Sudbury mother thanks 'fundraising angels' for keeping son's memory alive throughout coronavirus pandemic
The Smile of Arran Trust, which was established in 2014, has raised over £220,000 to date in memory of 13-year-old Arran Tosh.
The trust has set up dedicated 'Arran Grants' through CLIC Sargent which support children affected by brain tumours, so far giving £90,000 to over 500 families.
It also supports music therapy through Addenbrookes' Charitable Trust and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.
Alison Tosh said that although planned fundraisers, such as their annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Arran and the Smile Festival held at AFC Sudbury, have been cancelled for two years running, donations have continued to pour in from the community.
"As a family we have been overwhelmed at the support which is still coming in from 'Fundraising angels' over the last few years and through the pandemic, from individuals & businesses," she said.
"7 years on we are still so overwhelmed by people's generosity.
"All Arran wanted to do was help others. By setting up the charity we are able to keep his memory and legacy alive and we couldn't do it without the amazing help from all our supporters."
Over the last 3 years, Ipswich Building Society in Sudbury has raised £9,259.63 for The Smile of Arran Trust through its 'Mutual Advantage Savers' account, which sees account interest donated to charity, along with staff and account holder donations.
TTT Motorbike Village in Sudbury have also started collecting donations for the charity.
Kate and Richard Windard, along with their second eldest daughter Olivia, have continued to fundraise throughout the pandemic, completing the "David Goggins 4 x 4 x 48 challenge" which involves running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, in February of this year.
The family, who met the Arran when they became neighbours in 2005, raised £2,598.44 at the event.
The Windards have also scaled Ben Nevis and Scaffell Pike to raise money, while Kate had a sponsored hair cut that saw her long hair donated to the Little Princess Trust.
Mrs Tosh said: "To date Olivia has raised an amazing £1,802 for the charity. She is an incredible example of a young lady, all this and she was only 10 and 11 years old at the times of these fundraisers."
Earlier this year, Ben Lawrence, Director and Content Strategist of, LEWIS London, put the charity forward for a £1000 grant through his business.
Mr Lawrence commented: "LEWIS is a global organisation that recognises the importance of supporting local charities.
"The Smile of Arran Trust is a great example of a local community coming together to help others. In the current climate, this feels more important than ever.”
John and Diana Pawsey, who was Arran's childminder as a child, also nominated the Smile of Arran Trust in a clay pigeon shoot charity event in Essex, raising £905.
Mrs Tosh said: "Knowing that the family were involved in the fundraiser was just so heart warming and it's the kind of thing I'm sure Arran would have loved.
"When a young friend passes away, people feel helpless and just want to do something to help. I have found that individuals also get a lot out of fundraising for their own personal reasons."
Mrs Tosh says she and her family are incredibly grateful for everyone who has donated their time and money to the charity and that the events and fundraisers are what keeps Arran's memory alive.
"What started off with Arran having the idea to busk with his friend's Toby Halls & Joe Snell in front of the Cancer Research shop in Sudbury and raising over £80, has now grown into a young man's legacy, who is sorely missed every day," she said.
The family hope that as restrictions ease more fundraising events will be able to go ahead, with Arran's 21st birthday ball planned for September and plans in place for the return of SMILE festival in 2022.