Lennie’s fundraising tops £10,000 as the piano-playing eight-year old completes his lockdown challenge

After 80 days, dozens of tunes and support from celebrities, sportsmen and musicians, an eight-year-old from Yorkshire is finishing his fundraising challenge having raised over £10,000.

Lennie Street, from Leeds, has spent lockdown learning songs to play on the piano. He has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus and isn’t able to stand or walk independently but wanted to challenge himself while at home.

Over the past 12 weeks, he has learnt and played dozens of songs in return for donations for his special school, Paces, who are fundraising to build a new home in Sheffield for children and adults with motor disorders from across Yorkshire.

Initially setting himself a target of £750, Lennie has now raised 13-times that amount after gaining support from a range of famous names. When gift aid is added to the total raised, Paces will receive nearly £12,000.

Among those who have backed Lennie are Gary Barlow, who featured Lennie’s playing in his video ‘This calls for Love’ on social media, England and Manchester United footballer Marcus RashfordPeter Andre, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Nigella Lawson, Martin Kemp, Jo Whiley and Johnny Vegas.

Lennie said:

“I cannot believe how much money people have donated to hear me and my tunes. Everyone has been so generous and so lovely about my piano playing. I love going to Paces and can’t wait to be back at school. I hope this money means we can build our super new home very soon.”

Lennie’s mum Sally said:

“When Lennie set himself the challenge of raising £750 by playing his piano I never imagined the amount of money that would actually be donated. 

“It is humbling for Lennie and for me to have received so much support and I am grateful for the support of every single person – from every celebrity who has raised the profile of what he’s doing to every one of the 440 people who have donated. 

“The generosity means Paces, the school where Lennie has learnt so much, will be one step closer to building a new home which is desperately needed. I’m so proud we’ve been able to help.”

Julie Booth, Head of Fundraising at Paces said:

“Lennie, we are so proud of you and we are forever grateful for raising such an incredible amount of money for our charity! You are an inspiration to us all and you give us hope that we will build a new home for Paces”.

You can still listen to Lennie’s Tunes on his Facebook page at www.bit.ly/ListenToLennie and donate at his JustGiving page at www.pacessheffield.org.uk/lennie.

Protect your family and support Paces

We’re encouraging everyone to make sure they have written a Will this summer.

Paces is working with solicitors across South Yorkshire who will write or update your Will for free in August in return for a donation to the charity.

Wills make sure your loved ones are looked after, belongings go to the right person and funeral wishes are carried out after death. However, studies show that at least half of us have never made one, leaving us at risk of having what happens to what we leave behind decided by others.

To encourage us all to make a Will, the charity is working with five solicitors in Sheffield, Doncaster and Chesterfield who will kindly donate their fee in return for your Will to Paces. The suggested donation is £95 for a single Will and £150 for a joint Will.

Appointments – in person, over the telephone or remotely via online video calls – can be made now for Paces’ Make a Will Month in August by visiting www.makeawillmonth.co.uk.

All donations will go towards supporting children and adults with motor disorders such as Cerebral Palsy.

Julie Booth, Head of Fundraising at Paces, said:

“Make a Will Month gives everyone the chance to support us – so we can help the children, adults and families who we support – by ensuring you are supporting yourself and your family – by ensuring your affairs are in order for the future.

“I’d like to thank all the solicitors giving their time and skills for free and would encourage anyone who hasn’t made a Will to take up the opportunity of doing so this summer.”

£100,000 and counting as donations keep coming for Tobias

Sheffield’s Tobias Weller, the nine-year-old Paces School pupil who has caught the attention of the nation, has now raised over £100,000 with his Marathon Challenge.

He completed the 26.2 mile walk on Sunday cheered on my family, friends and neighbours and since then the money has kept pouring in. From having raised £30,000 a week ago, the total went over £100,000 today.

The money is being split between his school, Paces, and the Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he regularly visits for treatment.

Julie Booth, Head of Fundraising for Paces Sheffield, said:

“We are so incredibly proud of Captain Tobias!

“His strength and determination to complete a marathon is an inspiration to us all. Paces share of the funds will be used towards our recently launched capital appeal to raise £3.5 million to build a new school and centre which will allow is to support up to three times as many children and adults.

“We are delighted that Tobias has chosen to support our charity with this and we simply can’t thank him enough!”

Donate to Tobias here >>