Coleraine resident David Boyle MBE, locally known as the Caring Caretaker, reaches his goal of raising half a million pounds for charity.
Aghadowey born David Boyle MBE also known as the Caring Caretaker, started raising money for local charities in 1998. Initially he was approached by a local postman, Jack Fyfe, to do a sponsored diet. Boyle said, ‘Jack and I both knew there wasn’t much weight coming off.’ A local policeman then suggested for Boyle to do more fundraising events and to keep a running total – this was the start of the Caring Caretaker.
Since 1998, Davy Boyle has organised many events including sponsored walks, breakfast fundraisers, street collections, music concerts as well as the annual Christmas sit out. In 2000 the first Christmas sit out took place. During his first sit out, Boyle began with only a chair and an umbrella, where he sat in the centre of Coleraine from morning until night during December until Christmas Eve. Boyle has completed the Christmas sit out every year since and hopes to do so for many years to come.
At the beginning of this year, Boyle’s total money raised was £483,000. This money has been used to support a wide range of local charities and the disadvantaged. In January 2016, Boyle set himself a goal to reach £500,000 by the end of the year. On Thursday, 22nd December Boyle reached that target.
Commenting on his efforts David Boyle MBE, said: “I never thought I would get close to raising £500,000 in a million years. For all those years I haven’t been at home and giving up Christmas, has been worth it. The money I raise always goes towards great causes and helps so many people from different walks of life.
I would like to thank every person who has helped me along the way. The Coleraine community has always stood by me and I can’t thank them enough for all their support over the years. A special mention must go to my wife Theresa. Theresa has been a tower of strength and her patience and support has been second to none. I would also like to thank the Reverend McMullan for his continued support and friendship over the years. Reaching the half a million mark is the best Christmas present I could ever ask for.”
Commenting on the activity local retailer Neville Moore, Managing Director of Moores of Coleraine, said: “David Boyle is a local hero, who during the past two decades has worked tirelessly to raise funds for a range of charities and has received royal recognition for his work. You can’t fail to be touched by his efforts. Moores along with the wider community has committed its full support to helping Davy and we couldn’t be prouder of his efforts.”
Maggie Wade from Cancer Research UK said “On behalf of the committee of Cancer Research UK (Coleraine Branch) we would like to express our gratitude to Davy for all his efforts, past and present, to help so many worthwhile causes. This year, all the money raised will be donated to several Cancer charities, and we are fortunate to be one of them. Cancer Research funds research into over 200 types of cancer through research and drug trials and we know that progress is being made all the time.
We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our very own Caring Caretaker. We have really enjoyed working with him throughout 2016 and we wish him a very happy and warm Christmas after his long sit out.”
This year the chosen charities that the money will be going toward include Friends of the Cancer Centre, Leukaemia Lymphoma NI and Cancer Research UK.
Davy Boyle’s fundraising initiative will continue. Collection boxes are currently placed in Moores of Coleraine for those that wish to donate.