Cooper Associates fundraising cycle ride from Taunton to Portugal – raising vital funds for the Cots For Tots Appeal
Brothers Jack and Lee Cooper from Taunton Chamber members Cooper Associates Group are taking on a mammoth challenge this summer, aiming to raise £100,000 for the Cots For Tots Appeal (Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation) by cycling from the company’s offices on St James Street to Vilamoura in Portugal – a 14 day ride of 1519 miles and 19,931 metres of ascent through 4 different countries, including a gruelling section over the Pyrenees, all in August’s heat! As Jack explains: “The challenge is exactly that but the purpose is to raise significant funds knowing this will help numerous families in desperate situations and that is all the motivation we need to get over the line”
Jack tells us more about the reasoning behind the fundraising efforts: “On June 18th 2020, Our lives changed dramatically. Our daughter (Louella) was born after an uncomplicated pregnancy and as far as we were aware we had a healthy beautiful girl. Seven hours later, our life was turned upside down.
It had become apparent that Louella had suffered a Grade 4 Brain Haemorrhage and was rushed to intensive care in Bristol, effectively dying 5 times on route. She had 2 brain surgeries to control a condition called hydrocephalus, and the damage was such that Louella has Cerebral Palsy, severe vision loss, and also suffered seizures. This is not what you expect for your first time as parents. It is meant to be magical.
To add to the already desperate situation, this was during the Covid pandemic and therefore no hotels were open, but we refused to leave Louella where she would be for the next 2 months as it transpired, and were handed a lifeline by an incredible charity, Cots for Tots. The charity gave us a safe space, a room, a bed, a TV, a fridge, a kitchen and hotel donated meals were also supplied and was only 30 seconds away from Louella. This allowed us to have structure to our day to ensure we kept ourselves physically well as well as being present for Louella at a time which was unimaginably stressful. Not only this but we were living with families who were all going through unimaginable circumstances and being able to have a network of people who ‘understood’ what you were going through was invaluable.
Cots for Tots do this day in and day out for many families and until you experience what they do, its hard to appreciate how truly outstanding they are as a charity. For that reason, We have committed to support this cause for the rest of their lives, and want to make a real difference.
£100,000 will ensure accommodation is available for one family for over 7 years. For the cots for tots (12 rooms) – this will ensure accommodation for 238 days it will give hundreds of families that lifeline to be near their little warriors.
If we can change one families lives, then we would have achieved our goal but we want to help as many families as possible who went through and are going through this horrendous experience. If you can donate or share this amongst your friends and family, this would be hugely appreciated”
Donations can be made via the following link: