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Toby's Fun (Sun)Day
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Frills and thrills of rainbow runners
A staggering amount of money was raised at Toby’s Fun Day on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
For Young Minds charity the amount was £4,600 and for an outdoor activity area it is £23,900 making a grand total or £28,500.
And Toby’s mum Suzy Riley added with a smile they also collected: “Eleven euros and one US cent.”
There were 600 runners of all ages who signed up online beforehand and a further 75 turned up on the day.
The auction alone raised an amazing £10,000 from just 27 lots being bid on.
On Sunday night before leaving for a Nailsea Folk Club gig I posted on Nailsea People Facebook page a request to share photos of Toby's Fun Day - as I left I had four had been sent to me.
When I returned from the gig I checked and there were nearly 400 in my email inbox!
Thank to everyone who shared their images including Phil Williams, Steven Burley, Danie Luke, Emily Wills, Nailsea Musicals, Stuart Burgess, Hayley Gould, Vikki Jones and all those whose name momentarily escapes me.
But the biggest thank yous go to all the volunteers both those behind the scene and front-of-house and the big sports who looked like they had just walked out of a Tango drinks advert or turned into a Walkers Wotsits for the day.
We thanks sincerely all the generous businesses who gave prizes or auction lots, Toby Pinn the master-of-ceremonies and all the performers who gave their time and talent freely.
The stage running order overseen by Dave Francis included Aviator, Molly and Joe, Kyra, the Rock Choir, M&A Acoustic Duo and The Cringe.
Then there are the bikers and classic car owners, the fire brigade who had to interrupt the afternoon by attending a bonfire on the Drove - see photos in slideshow, and the marvellous professional photographs whose images may have unknowingly been shared with us!
Monies raised by the special fun day at the Ring O’Bells pub and on Grove playing fields is going towards building an outdoor gym in Nailsea as a fitting memorial to the much-loved teenager.
Sadly, Toby Riley died on July 4, 2021, and his family and friends have been honouring his memory by fundraising for good causes ever since.
Toby was sports mad youngster who enjoyed bike rides with his dad Al as well as being a keen skate park competitor, football player and coach who in his short life been a member of:
Nailsea Air Cadets;
Nailsea Scout Group;
Nailsea Skate Park;
Nailsea Junior Football Club;
Nailsea United FC;
Priority Football; and
Senshinryu Karate Association..
Toby’s mum Suzy said: “It is time to remember Toby in a positive way.
“Seeing so many people out having fun in the sunshine yesterday was just incredible, but then seeing Facebook and Instagram flooded with such colour and gleaming white smiles was just priceless!
“This event could not have taken place without the help of an extraordinary amount of people who used their skills and contacts to pull it out of the bag!
“It took the whole community to come together to make it work.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your help and support.
“It honestly means so much.
“We cannot wait to start the next process of building a fantastic activity area for everyone to enjoy.”
The original idea for installing an outdoor gym in a Nailsea park came from Nailsea International Bike Show stalwart Sharon Colley.
Sharon’s idea was supported by town councillor Jo Hopkinson who took up the cudgels and now has the full council backing.
Monies raised will also be going to Young Minds a registered charity that supports young people and their families.
Its website says: ‘It’s hard to watch young people struggling. And it’s even harder when it feels like there’s no one at all who can help. Since the pandemic, millions more young people are struggling to cope with their feelings. That is why we are on hand to help. More young people need our help more than ever, which means we need you more than ever. Give the gift of life-changing support and a brighter tomorrow to the young people and families who need it most.’
Suzy added; "Toby’s Fun Day was not only be a celebration of Toby’s life, it is an opportunity for us, as a community that has collectively been hugely impacted by such a tragic and unexpected loss, to highlight the importance of reaching out for help and asking for support when you are struggling.
"Every single one of these deaths by suicide is a tragedy that devastates families, friends and communities.
"Suicide has a ripple effect, extending well beyond the person's immediate family and friends and we do not want any other family to go through what we have.
"We want you all to know that there is help and that there is no shame or stigma around asking for that help.
"The organisations below can support you when you are struggling:
Boosted by the Go Fund Me page donations of £18,994 paid for Toby’s funeral.
Suzy said earlier: “The money donated to the Go Fund Me page was more than enough to pay for Toby’s funeral and so I wanted to put the money left back into the community somehow.
“The town council agreed to building a outdoor gym park and I have identified some equipment suitable for all ages.
“I wanted to do something fun for the community in Toby’s memory so together with Rob Prior, of Priority Football, and Rebecca Williams, from Ring O’Bells we put our heads together and came up with the idea of the family fun day to raise even more money for the park as well as Young Minds.
“Becky, Rob and I (pictured below) have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have contacted us to offer sponsorship or help on the day.”
READY, STEADY, GO: Video of Year 3 on the fun run starting line