The Remember Me campaign for a Covid memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral has received another stunning boost thanks to a £100,000 donation from City grandee and philanthropist Lord Spencer and his wife.
Making the generous pledge, the trading tycoon said he and his wife Sarah felt a ‘national memorial to those we have lost is much needed’.
The former Tory treasurer said they were both ‘so glad’ to be able to contribute to the lasting tribute, which is backed by the Mail and will honour Covid victims and ensure they are ‘never to be forgotten’.
Michael Spencer and his wife Sarah donated £100,000 to the cause, putting the total at £1.6million
His gift takes the total raised for the memorial, which will feature a grand oak portico, to a magnificent £1.6million – putting the campaign’s £2.3million target within striking distance.
In less than a fortnight, more than £1.1million has flooded in, with our kind-hearted readers donating more than £272,000.
Lord Spencer, 65, said last night: ‘The death toll from Covid has touched our whole country.
‘For 130,000 people to die in Britain in this pandemic is a tragedy for each and every family which has been affected.
‘It is always so important that we never forget those we have loved who died before their time due to this awful virus.
Almost £105,000 has arrived in cheques from readers and as much as £168,000 has been donated on St Paul’s Cathedral’s Crowdfunder
‘A national memorial to those we have lost is much needed.
‘Sarah and I are so glad to be able to contribute to this St Paul’s memorial, supported by the Daily Mail, which has gathered support from so many who all want this loss of life never to be forgotten.’
Lord Spencer founded Nex Group, which was formerly known as ICAP, building it from a four-man operation with just £50,000 into one of the world’s largest inter-dealer brokers.
A notable philanthropist, he has donated hundreds of millions to charities throughout his career. He gave £250,000 to Mail Force – also supported by the Daily Mail – to supply PPE to NHS workers at the peak of the pandemic, as well as £1million through his family foundation to our appeal for the British Normandy Memorial.
Lord Spencer founded the ICAP Charity Day, an annual event in which royalty and celebrities run trading desks, with the broking firm donating the day’s revenue to good causes.
The Remember Me campaign shifted up a gear yesterday thanks to a stunning £100,000 gift from businessman Mohamed Mansour – taking the cash raised by the Mail’s drive past £1million
The event, which first took place in 1993, has raised an incredible £149million and its proceeds have supported more than 2,200 charitable projects.
He says the charity day is his proudest achievement in business, alongside breaking into the FTSE100. His endorsement of our campaign follows major pledges from businessman Mohamed Mansour, Lord Sugar, entrepreneur Matt Moulding and philanthropists Sir Michael Hintze and Sir Tom Hunter.
Almost £105,000 has arrived in cheques from readers and as much as £168,000 has been donated on St Paul’s Cathedral’s Crowdfunder page since the Daily Mail campaign began.
More than 3,060 of the Mail’s special, limited-edition Remember Me candles have been sent out to supporters who have donated £25 or more.
The permanent memorial will feature a grand oak portico with the words ‘Remember Me’ engraved in several languages and is open to those of all faiths and none
Together with the £440,000 already raised by the cathedral itself, the campaign total now stands at a stunning £1,612,500.
It is hoped that the remainder of the funds can be raised as soon as possible so work on the memorial can be completed in time for the second anniversary of the pandemic next March.
The poignant tribute will be the first major addition to St Paul’s Cathedral in 150 years and will include a magnificent new entrance with the words ‘Remember Me’ engraved in several languages.
A chapel inside will house screens showing a virtual book of remembrance bearing the names and pictures of those lost directly and indirectly to Covid.
The book, which was launched last summer, carries tributes to almost 9,000 victims, with bereaved families encouraged to come forward to ensure their loved ones are also included.
Faith leaders along with Prince Charles and Boris Johnson have already given their heartfelt support for the commemorative space, which will be open to those of all religions and none.
Mr Johnson said it was a ‘solemn duty… to come together and cherish the memories of those who have been lost’.
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