All at the Philanthropic were saddened to hear of the passing of coronavirus victim Martin Verrill – the star of a film that inspired £14,000 in donations for our charity.
Some of the Teesside region’s most disadvantaged children and their families have been able to enjoy short caravan breaks to the Yorkshire coast – after a moving film featuring amazing Middlesbrough man Martin and his two grandsons inspired generosity at our 2018 Charity Ball.
The film showing the impact of our caravans resulted in a generous group of our patrons and supporters promising to donate a combined £14,000.
When the film was shown at Wynyard Hall, many were moved to tears – and some were inspired to act.
Martin, who had looked after his two grandsons alone for the previous 10 years, spoke with a raw emotion that left no room for doubt why the short breaks we offer are so vitally important.
Martin stepped in to care for his grandchildren when they were very young when his daughter’s chaotic lifestyle meant she was no longer able to care for them and they were set to be taken into the care system.
The move cost Martin his job, his marriage and his good health – and he’d never been able to take the boys on a true holiday until they spent a few days at one of our caravans near Filey.
Martin, who was idolised by his grandsons, passed away of coronavirus at James Cook University Hospital. RIP Martin, thanks for all your help. You were a true Teesside Hero.
“The Caravan of Love – One Family’s Story” was told by Martin, with the help of leading Teesside film makers Ithica Films and our PR man Dave Allan of Tees Business.
Our first caravan was purchased following an anonymous but large donation to our Foundation in 2016 – with a second purchased following an incredible response at the Foundation’s 2017 Ball by our friends at The Finlay Cooper Fund and many other generous local companies and individuals. We’ve since purchased a third caravan thanks to the Finlay Cooper Fund.
See the video by Ithica Films that focused on Martin and inspired £14,000 in donations: