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Former police officer takes a break from the booze to boost Daisy Appeal

A former police officer is toasting his success in non-alcoholic beer after smashing his fund-raising target by giving up the booze in aid of the Daisy Appeal.

Mark Botham set out to raise £300 by staying sober for three months. But as he embarks on the final month of his challenge he’s already banked £1,100 and he’s looking to bring in much more before he calls last orders on his campaign.

Mark said:

When I started out I felt that £100 a month would be a fair amount but a lot of people have dug deep, some have made substantial donations and we beat the original target some time ago.

Many of the contributions have come from people who Mark has helped. During ten years as Chairman of North Yorkshire Police Federation he provided valuable guidance on pensions and injury awards. He continued to offer advice as a consultant when he retired and set up his own business, Botham Solutions, in 2014.

He lives in Bridlington but as a consultant for Haven Solicitors serves clients all over the UK, many referred by the Injury On Duty Pensioners Association – (IODPA) and has been overwhelmed by the response of many of them to his JustGiving page.

He said:

Some of them are people who I helped after they were injured carrying out their police work. They saw this as an opportunity, to give something back to society and I feel humbled by that.

Mark was motivated by the Daisy Appeal’s work to improve accuracy and detection rates for cancer, heart disease and dementia, which have affected family and friends.

His wife Julie has twice undergone treatment at the Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital for Hodgkin Lymphoma, his father has been treated for dementia linked to his Parkinson’s disease and two of his grandparents had heart disease.

In addition to saying thank you to medical staff, Mark also saw an opportunity to prevent lockdown from getting out of hand.

He said:

I’ve always liked a drink and when we couldn’t go out I was drinking at home and recognised there was a risk of things getting silly. I was a shift worker for a long time and they’re the people who invented binge drinking, so there was also an element of trying to do something for myself.

Claire Levy, Fundraiser at the Daisy Appeal, said:

People have been doing all sorts of interesting things under lockdown to raise money and Mark’s challenge is a new one, and not an easy one given the stress which a lot of people have faced.

We’re so grateful for his efforts so far and we look forward to hearing from him when he’s passed his milestone. We’d love to hear from others who have ideas for fundraising activities which can be completed under lockdown.

The Daisy Appeal has a target of £8.2-million to complete a radiochemistry and cyclotron unit which will produce radioactive tracers at Castle Hill Hospital and provide the opportunity for patients to receive more personalised care leading to earlier diagnosis and giving them better treatment and quality of life.

Once the facility is fully functional patients from a wider geographical area will have access to its services, improving accuracy and detection rates for cancer, heart disease and dementia in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

To support Mark with his challenge please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Botham4

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