United Kingdom

£1.3million & counting! Cash pot for Covid memorial swells as tycoon Matt Moulding donates £250k

The Remember Me campaign for a national memorial for Covid victims received another stunning boost yesterday as entrepreneur Matt Moulding announced a £250,000 donation.

The pledge from Mr Moulding’s firm The Hut Group (THG) meant the total raised so far has topped £1.3million – more than half the amount needed to build the memorial inside St Paul’s Cathedral.

Mr Moulding, 49, said his company felt ‘blessed’ to support the Daily Mail’s Remember Me campaign.

Mr Moulding said his firm wanted to support the campaign because of the devastating impact of the pandemic, including on the families of his workforce

The generous donation means more than £910,000 has been raised in just nine days since the Mail launched the drive.

Combined with the funds already collected by the cathedral itself, more than £1.3million has been pledged towards the £2.3million needed to complete the memorial.

Mr Moulding said his firm wanted to support the campaign because of the devastating impact of the pandemic, including on the families of his workforce.

He said: ‘So many people have been affected as a result of Covid and we’ve sadly seen the terrible impact it’s had on some of the families of those at THG. THG is blessed to be able to contribute and everyone at the Group wants to help in any way they can.

‘We hope that this memorial marks a national place for communities across the UK to mourn loved ones.’

Last month Mr Moulding announced he was giving £100million of shares in his company to charity, making him one of Britain’s most generous charity donors. His decision followed the successful flotation of THG and a conversation with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has given billions to charity.

Mr Moulding, the son of a road resurfacer in Colne, Lancashire, started THG in 2004 selling CDs online. The Manchester-based ecommerce firm now has more than 8,000 employees worldwide and has dozens of beauty and consumer brands.

The £250,000 pledge from THG came as letters and online donations continued to flood in from Mail readers.

The memorial will feature a grand oak portico inside St Paul’s – the first major addition to the iconic London landmark in 150 years.

The portico will be engraved with the words ‘Remember Me’ in several languages and a chapel inside will display screens showing the virtual book of remembrance.

The Remember Me book was launched in May last year and bears the names and photos of some 8,600 victims so far.

The £250,000 pledge from THG came as letters and online donations continued to flood in from Mail readers

Each person’s story is dealt with individually by moderators from the St Paul’s Remember Me team, who offer support to the bereaved as they complete their entry.

Prince Charles, the Prime Minister and religious groups across Britain have given their heartfelt backing to the fundraising drive.

Last week Apprentice star Lord Sugar and philanthropists Sir Michael Hintze and Sir Tom Hunter all stepped forward with major donations towards the campaign.

Daily Mail readers have given almost £185,000 and the total donated had passed £1.1million, before the THG pledge.

The first 5,000 to donate £25 or more online using the ‘Limited Edition Candle from the Daily Mail’ button will receive a free memorial candle.

Hundreds of supporters chose to leave messages online. Patricia Forster said: ‘It’s important to remember all the beautiful souls who have died during this awful pandemic. They must never be forgotten.’

St Paul’s hopes to raise the £2.3million needed to build the memorial by mid-summer, so work can be completed in time for the second anniversary of the pandemic next March.

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