This is Rowan, our Dad.
Last year, he had to care for our Mum as she came to the end of her life, aged 59. Mum suffered from brain cancer for almost a year. He was by her side at the hospital each and every day, and when she returned home he cared for her 24/7. Dad was an inspiration to us.
Here's Mum and Dad together when they were younger :D
Mum passed away in the Autumn last year, and Dad's been dealing with it as well as anyone could, thanks to his own determination, and the support of friends and family.
One thing that gave us comfort was that, although our parents were not wealthy and had been renting up until recently, Mum and Dad had saved enough in their final working years to buy a house and have a secure retirement. With Mum gone, Dad having enough money to live life, travel to see friends and not having to worry about necessities, was some comfort after everything he'd been through.
Around Easter, our Dad had all of his savings stolen.
He received multiple phone calls from a nice lady claiming to be from BT, warning he had been hacked and his internet was about to be switched off if he did not respond. He ignored the first few - but they persisted, and he was worried about being distracted by a problem while family visited for the weekend. He eventually answered. They gained access to his computer, hacked his internet banking and computer screen, and tricked him into believing they had accidentally placed money in his account. When they requested this money back, he cleared the payment. In reality, they had emptied both his current and savings accounts. By the time he realised what had happened, it was too late.
His life savings, tens of thousands of pounds, have been stolen. He is now retired, and due to his age and a genetic condition affecting his voice he is unlikely to be hired for any work. He felt a fool, although this unfortunately happens to so many people. Losing all of his and Mum's savings, explaining to his family and friends, and having to ask his children for financial support was upsetting. Our Dad was exploited at a very vulnerable time in his life, and has now suffered two once-in-a-lifetime catastrophes in less than a year.
A month on, and unfortunately the bank have refused to compensate him, as he technically cleared the withdrawal. He has a small pension coming in, covering his necessities. Us kids have scraped together what spare savings we have, most of it a grant we had received from Mum's pension, and sent this over to him, to ensure that he has a 'backstop' for any emergencies. The immediate concerns have been dealt with. But my dad does not now have money to enjoy his retirement as before.
This year, to celebrate my Mum's 60th birthday in June, and to remember her life, we had been planning to rent a villa together in the south of France as family for a week. Fortunately, my dad had booked the villa with us before all of his money was stolen. But my dad had not organised his travel, and he hoped to drive through France in the week before, visiting the spots that Mum and he had visited or talked about, and enjoying a well-earned holiday in the lead-up to what will be a bittersweet anniversary. Now, with all of his savings gone, he is not able to afford that holiday.
When many of our friends and family heard about what happened to Dad, they wanted to do whatever they could to support him. Some suggested we fundraise, and this is why we're here :)
If we can raise £300: this will cover his return travel to the villa and a minimal budget over the seven days he's with us.
If we can raise £650: Dad will have a full budget to travel around the area and dine throughout the week at the villa.
If we can raise £1100: Dad will be able to travel through France for a week before meeting us at the villa, enjoying a well-earned fortnight's break and visiting places many places in France he's wanted to go.
If we can raise £1800: Dad will be able to enjoy another trip in the near future, whether that's a long-promised visit to Gibraltar with one of his sons (where Dad grew up), or visiting friends some of his friends dotted across Europe!
Any money earned beyond that will go towards holidays in the future - something all of us kids will continue to contributing towards wherever we can over the years :)
Your support would mean a lot to us, and my Dad - so a big thank you to friends, family or even people we don't know for donating. Let's get Dad a well-earned holiday in memory of Mum!
- Lucy Murray
- Dan RW
- Julie and BIll Cayless