Over the next few months, recorded donations to our charity made in memory of supporters’ loved ones will pass £4m.
That money has enabled our team to respond many hundreds of times. In death, these people are giving the chance of life to others.
The donations are given in the hardest of times and we take that responsibility very seriously. That’s why we have launched a new tool to help permanently remember lost loved ones.
The GNAAS Flying Forever fund allows users to quickly and easily create a permanent online memorial when someone close to them dies. These memorial pages can be shared with friends and family who can post messages and leave donations in memory. Photographs and tributes can be uploaded, and anniversaries and birthdays marked.
Jonny Harrison, of GNAAS, played a key role in introducing the platform.
He said: “Over the years, an incredible amount of money has been given in memory of loved ones. But we’ve always wanted to offer our supporters more beyond making a donation and leaving us a message.
“We wanted to make what is a distressing time easier for these people. We wanted somewhere where their messages, the photographs and recollections could have a permanent home.
“There’s nothing wrong with the traditional way of donating, whether that’s at a funeral collection or otherwise. We will continue to make that experience as good as it can be for all our supporters.
“But this is about making the most of modern technology in a way which gives our supporters options about how they want to celebrate their loved ones.”
Jonny, of Darlington, said his work regularly brought him into contact with bereaved families and though the conversations were always challenging, they could often be rewarding experiences.
“They can be difficult conversations but mainly we draw enormous strength from these people who in turmoil have chosen to help others,” he said.
“I think people just want to make a positive situation out of losing someone. They are looking for a purpose in those difficult times when often their lives have been turned upside down. Fundraising in memory gives them something to hold onto.”
Jonny said the initial reaction had been positive.
“People see it as a living diary,” he said. “They are creating something everlasting. The page remains as a constant reminder, a digital space where the lives of lost loved ones can be celebrated.”
The Flying Forever Fund, which is powered by charity giving specialists MuchLoved, is now live. Supporters can create memorial pages through the GNAAS website. You can get started by clicking here.