Olivia’s fundraising story

When Olivia’s brother, Rory, sadly died, it was important for her to raise money for DENS in memory of the impactful support he received during a difficult period of his life.

Facing homelessness, Rory was provided temporary accommodation at The Elms hostel during the festive period of 2020. He was struggling with long-term alcoholism and mental health issues.

Unfortunately, in June 2021, while out of DENS’ services, Rory died suddenly at the age of 50.

Shortly after, Olivia discovered a letter that Rory had written to DENS, expressing gratitude for the support he had received during his lowest point.

This was hugely emotional for Olivia, inspiring her to celebrate her upcoming 50th birthday in a special kind of way.

“I decided to have a party, but I didn’t want anything for my birthday. I wanted to do something in recognition of DENS for what they had done, so I hosted a fundraiser instead.”

Ahead of the big event, Olivia set up a fundraising page on JustGiving and was in contact with the DENS Fundraising team, who helped her establish a target of £1,000.

Olivia and Rory as children

While at first she was worried about reaching her fundraising goals, Olivia helped spread the word via her social media, and had soon surpassed her target with a grand total of £1,078.

The birthday celebration was a very special occasion for Olivia and her family. Hosted at a pub in their hometown, the family enjoyed a lunch together, then friends joined them for a 90s themed rave in remembrance of Rory’s history as a DJ.

“We had a really nice day. Obviously there were moments when we missed my brother being there, but the celebration was all about keeping his memory alive.”

Olivia is so proud that her birthday fundraiser was a big success, supporting a cause close to her heart. Her family continue to gather regularly in Rory’s name.

If you would like to fundraise in memory of a loved one, please contact our friendly team, who will be happy to support, at 01442 800268 or fundraising@dens.org.uk.

Story published 18th April 2023.

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