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 Rashford, Peter Andre, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Nigella Lawson, Martin Kemp, Jo Whiley and Johnny Vegas.
“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”.