A local counselling service has received a “lifeline” from an Eglinton man who has raised tens of thousands of pounds to support it.
Craig Thompson, 21, from Eglinton specialises in making, recording, editing and uploading Youtube videos. He goes under the Youtube name of Mini Ladd and, earlier this year, he undertook a 24-hour charity stream fundraising event which raised more than US$53,000, including a $10,000 personal donation.
“I did a live stream for 24 hours, talking to people and interacting with people, and with followers from every corner of the globe. On my YouTube channel I have 3.2 million subscribers, so there’s a great community and seeing people raise this amount of money restores your faith in humanity,” said Craig. “To be honest, to have raised this amount blows my mind.”
Craig has decided to split the donation between a couple of charities, including Northwest Counselling Ltd.
“We think that Craig’s achievement is simply incredible,” said NWC treasurer, Sean O’Kane. “The money is critical to the future of the organisation because what it does, is it actually gives us a very strong platform to keep our doors open. Funding is getting more and more difficult to obtain, so this has been a lifeline for NWC, and it will allow us to make a positive impact in more and more people’s lives in coming months and years.”
The organisation, formed in 2002, provides counselling services to a range of people from all walks of life and all age groups throughout the North West.
The organisation, which is a not-for-profit company delivers its services from two locations in the North West, The Vale Centre in Greysteel and St Columb’s Court in Derry city centre.
NWC chairman, Raymond Craig said “it’s the best donation ever”.
“The fact is the whole third sector is suffering and it’s so difficult to get the funding’ and we can’t turn anyone away,” said Mr Craig. “This will mean we have core funding to keep the door open and get on with it. It’s the best donation we ever got. It beats standing in the street with a bucket, doesn’t it?”
Craig’s mum, Lorna Thompson said her son’s donation will help so many people.
“I do see first-hand how the money will help and it will make all the difference in the world. Now, with this funding, it has come at the right time and, of course, I am very proud of him because I will see how it will make a difference to people’s lives. North West Counselling is needed.”
Mr. O’Kane said the organisation provides a much needed service.
“The feedback we receive from people is incredible. We can never re-pay Craig, and he will never know the good he has done because of the discretionary nature of the work that’s carried out, but I have assured him he has probably saved lives and made an incredible impact,” said Mr O’Kane, who added: “There are so many issues with mental health and the work our counsellors do is amazing. We can’t thanks him enough.”
Craig, in the meantime is getting used to his pink hair as he had promised followers he would dye his hair pink when fundraising reached a certain target.