Fundraising in memory of boy who died aged 11 passes huge milestone
A FAMILY'S fundraising campaign in memory of their son, who died aged 11 from leukaemia, has passed the £300,000 mark.
Thomas Worboys, who was known to friends and family as Toti, died in 2014.
Afterwards his parents, Nick and Amelia, from Dodington, set up a named fund with the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, and ever since a group of loyal friends who have become known as ‘Team Toti’ have been raising money in his memory.
Nick said: “To hit that £300,000 milestone a few weeks after what would have been his 18th birthday, on January 2, had a real poignancy for us.”
“We’re trying to practise ‘good grief’, and what I mean by that is that these dreadful things happen in life and challenge you in the most terrible ways, but we’re absolutely determined to turn this negative into something positive.”
The event that pushed the total past £300,000 was holding a cheese and wine tasting, with an auction, held with 80 people online, which raised more than £25,000.
The cheese and wine night had previously been a successful fundraiser before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the family were faced with the challenge of how to host it during a nationwide lockdown. With no idea how well it would work, they decided to hold it on the online video platform Zoom.
Nick said: “The atmosphere that we created last year was there again, online, over a Zoom call. A lot of us have said it was the most fun we’ve had in the last year, and it raised an incredible amount of money.
“We’ve all been through lockdown so there was this great potential energy and willingness to have fun and enjoy an event, and I think people appreciated the sentiment of what we’re trying to do with the fundraising.
“The event was supposed to finish at 9pm but we were all still on it way past 11 o’clock.”
Toti Warboys (left) with dad Nick and siblings George, Eve and Barney
Nick said it was "absolutely humbling" that people went to such lengths to support Toti’s legacy.
He said: “Toti was gentle, kind-hearted and loved to be loved, so for him to think that all of this was organised for him...I can just see him smiling, with pride and happiness.
“He’d be looking down from above, saying, ‘Yeah, good job’.”
More information about the fund can be found online at specialnamedfunds.cclg.org.uk/the-toti-worboys-fund.