Parking ticket mum raises £10k for charity

2000 royal hospital for sick children, sciennes

​The Sick Kids Friends Foundation to benefit as women launches fundraising campaign in honour of stranger who helped pay her parking ticket

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22nd February 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

An Edinburgh mum has raised over £10,000 for charity in tribute to a kind samaritan who helped her pay a parking ticket she received while at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Mairi Holden parked on the city’s Sylvan Place last Wednesday as she rushed to take her four-year-old son Oscar, who was having a severe asthma attack, to get help.

The pair ended up staying in overnight and when Mairi left on Thursday she found she had two parking tickets on her windscreen.

But as well as the tickets Mairi was shocked to find £25 wedged in between them with a note which read ‘Pay & then forget it happened!’

Delighted and shocked, Mairi initially took to Facebook to trace and thank the mystery donor and has now set up a fundraising page on JustGiving to raise money for the hospital’s charity The Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

“I am starting by doubling the money I received and putting it back into the hospital,” Mairi said.

“I would like to see how one person's kindness can have a huge impact on the world so many other people's lives.

“The service at Sick Kids is incredible, the staff are amazing and work around the clock to save lives and help others. I am truly grateful for the fabulous service we have in the NHS. 

“Imagine when the anonymous stranger finds out just what has happened as a result of doing such a lovely thing! I think they may have been an older lady or gentleman judging by the hand writing.”

So far over £10,000 has been donated.

Mairi continued: “This is just mind blowing! With 709 people from across the world each performing their own random act of kindness, this has been raised in 72 hours!

“Not only that, but this will carry on forever with the families of children who are helped with this increasing amount! More children's lives will be saved, more children helped, and more happy, grateful people as a result. It will travel on for years to come!

“Thank you for all your kind words and messages. We should all be so proud of ourselves for making this happen. I may be the face of it, but it is in no way down to me, it's an absolute collective effort of everyone who is taking part!

“Thanks also to the media and the social media sharers and likers who are helping this turn global!

“What a fantastic thing is happening through many wonderful people!”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for The City of Edinburgh Council said the parking fines may be overturned if Mairi provides a doctor’s note from the hospital. 

Pippa Johnston, director of fundraising and marketing at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: "It is incredible to see the huge impact that one random act of kindness, such as paying a parking fine, can have and we are very grateful to Mairi for choosing to fundraise such a fantastic amount for SKFF.

"The response so far has been wonderful - we didn't expect such a staggering amount to be donated in so little time and we are overwhelmed by the support.

"As a result of what we do, children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness; they are less scared of hospital and have a positive experience. We do this by providing enhanced facilities, equipment and distractions and it is the generosity of people like Mairi, and the others who raise money for us, which allows us to continue doing this.”