Ipswich: Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust ready to launch charity after ‘mind-blowing’ response from fundraisers
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:23 26 May 2014
Family and friends of Kerry Thorpe are ready to launch a charity in her honour, the Star can exclusively reveal, after a “mind-blowing” response from fundraisers.
Josh Nelli, the loving fiancé of the 23-year-old from Kesgrave who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis two months ago, today pays tribute to everyone who has helped him reach the £5,000 milestone needed to set up a charity to ensure Kerry’s memory lives on.
“Out of the kindness of their hearts, and for the love of Kerry, they have come to us,” Josh said.
In her short life, Kerry raised awareness for both cystic fibrosis and the desperate need for people to register for organ donation.
Her fighting spirit shone through and she became an ambassador for Live Life Then Give Life.
She was added to the list for a double lung transplant two years ago, but her call never came. Kerry died from end stage cystic fibrosis at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge on March 21.
“It was terribly sad and tragic. She was on the transplant list but the call did not come,” Josh said.
“But rather than being bitter and angry, she tried to make it better for people in a similar situation. She didn’t want anyone else to lose a loved one because there weren’t enough people on the donor list.”
Since her death, money has poured in from cake sales, cycle rides and charity walks. A gruelling 12-hour bikeathon led by Josh generated more than £1,500.
It was all done with the aim of raising £5,000 – the amount needed to set up a charity through the Charity Commission.
“I am shocked we have reached this stage so quickly,” Josh said.
“I thought it would be unrealistic to raise £5,000 in a year, let alone six weeks.
“The amount of love and support we have received is nothing short of mind-blowing. Everyone’s support, big or small, is greatly appreciated.”
One primary school pupil, Tegan Backhouse, posted a heartfelt letter and £5 to Kerry’s father Gary.
She said: “I am very sorry about the loss of your daughter. I am just writing to say I hope you’re getting on okay. I have been thinking about you. Here is £5.00 I’ve saved. Please put this in Kerry’s charity fund. Love, Tegan B.”
The charity will take the name of the existing trust – The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust. It will donate mainly to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Live Life Then Give Life.
“There is a lot of paperwork, but it is my duty to carry on Kerry’s legacy,” Josh said.
“Without realising it, she started this through her blogs. She inspired people to live life to the full. People took a lot of heart from her drive and determination.
“We now have to seize the moment with the charity. The opportunities are endless and I have extremely big plans for the future.
“In years to come, everyone who has donated will be able to look back knowing they were responsible at the very beginning of this exciting adventure.”
Charities benefit from a number of tax reliefs, including no corporation tax on profits made from trading in the course of delivering charitable aims and, through Gift Aid. claiming back 20% of cash donations which is taxed.
Charities also pay no more than 20% of normal business rates on occupied buildings, are entitled to VAT discounts and are not faced with stamp duty or inheritance tax on gifts made in wills.
The Charity Commission says becoming a registered charity gives donors and beneficiaries confidence that the charity is legitimate and working within a regulatory regime.
The upgrade will also improve the Trust’s JustGiving website and allow them to launch an eBay page auctioning off merchandise online.
They also aim to launch a website in two weeks.
Visit The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thekerryalexthorpetrust.
Anyone wanting to donate can send cheques for The Kerry Alex Thorpe Trust made payable to Archant Community Media Ltd to Lauren Everitt, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.