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Civic Appeal raises over £45,000 for local charity Doorway!

Published on Tuesday, 21st May 2019

The generosity of Nuneaton and Bedworth residents will never be forgotten by Councillor Chris Watkins after the conclusion of his highly successful year as Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Cllr Watkins, who stepped down as Mayor last week, is delighted that his Civic Appeal raised £45,566 with more donations still to collect for Doorway, the Nuneaton based charity which helps young homeless people in the Borough.

The funding means that the charity is now on course to own its first ever living quarters for 16 to 25-year-olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, something which seemed a pipedream when Cllr Watkins launched the appeal in May last year.

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As well as spearheading the appeal, Cllr Watkins and his wife Collette who served a Mayoress, attended dozens of official engagements across the Borough, meeting thousands of people of all ages as well as hosting many groups and individuals in the Mayor's Parlour at the Town Hall, Cllr Watkins said:

"I had seen the fantastic work which has been carried out by Doorway, which was also marking its 21st anniversary during the course of the Civic Appeal and so it seemed a great idea to try and get them their ‘key to the door’ for their 21st Birthday.

"It seemed like a well deserving beneficiary for an appeal and the fact that the charity was looking to obtain its own premises was also encouraging as well as being a big challenge for myself, Collette and my dedicated team of helpers.

"As well as raising money, we also wanted to raise awareness of all of the superb work that the Doorway team do for our community.

"Thankfully, over our year in office we were supported magnificently by the generous people living in and around our Borough, and it is something we will never forget. I would like to thank each and every one who helped our appeal, whether it was by organising a fund-raising event, supporting an event, giving us a donation or even just wishing us well - it meant so much! Special thanks goes to Krazy Krocs and XPO for their continued support throughout.

"The new home is now a reality - something we could only dream about a year ago and it is all down to the people of our wonderful Borough. Thanks again to everyone and all of those lovely people we met while carrying out our civic engagements!''  

The exiting year of fund-raising included an abseil at Nuneaton Fire Station, a masked ball and Peaky Blinders evenings as well as several fund-raising dinners and quiz nights. Cllr Watkins topped off his fund raising year with a death-defying parachute jump which he undertook alongside a fearless team of 11 supporters at Sibson Airfield in Peterborough on Good Friday.  

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Carol Gallager, CEO of Doorway said:

“It has been a privilege for Doorway to be chosen by Chris as his beneficiary charity and in May 2018, when he first talked about ‘the key of the door’ it seemed like an impossible dream. However, he has managed to far surpass our expectations and raise a phenomenal amount of money with lots of help along the way from Collette and a band of dedicated helpers. Little did we realise 12 months ago his passion, commitment and determination to achieve this – he certainly reached the dizzy heights in more ways than one and we cannot thank him enough!!!

“We have also been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of residents and organisations in Nuneaton and Bedworth and their support to help homeless young people in their local community. Chris has made a huge difference in raising awareness of our services and as a result we have seen an increase in donations which help young people settle into their new homes. Thank you so much to everyone for their support, but especially Chris, who has worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to help achieve our dream.”

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