The family of late Derry man, John Paul Coyle, have thanked all those who helped them raise over £5,000 for the local charity he supported during his lifetime, the St Vincentd de Paul Society.
John Paul’s parents, Vincent and Jennifer; his siblings and other relatives gathered on Wednesday last to present the money raised to staff and volunteers at St Vincent De Paul.
John Paul passed away in February this year from a previously undiagnosed heart condition and his family and friends organised a walk from Brooke Park and a social evening at the Phoenix Bar in his memory, as well as a GoFundMe page in aid of St Vincent De Paul, so that they could help more local families in need,
John Paul’s sister Jenny said they were overwhelmed with the support they received during the charity of events.
“This was all done in John Paul’s memory because he always had an affinity with St. Vincent De Paul and appreciated how they give you a hand up, not a hand out, and are very discreet,” Jenny added.
“We were overwhelmed by the support. People I hadn’t seen or heard of for years turned up for the walk. John Paul knew half the town and the other half knew him!
“We raised a lot of money and we want to say a special thank you to everyone who donated to the collections, the GoFundMe and the businesses who donated prizes. We want to thank all those who took part in the walk and the social night and to Bob McLaughlin and Soupy Campbell for the charity night plus all the Academy Road crew who helped so much.”
John Paul’s mother Jennifer added: “We have been so overwhelmed. Coming up to Christmas this is going to be a great help. We couldn’t believe how much was raised. People are so very kind.”
Since John Paul passed away, the family have heard testimonies of how he had helped so many people through difficult times they were experiencing, stories they had been unaware of.
This was on top of l the good work J.P. was known for, assisting people who were having difficulties, often through social media, which in turn led to the use of the hashtag #tappingin. His father Vincent said that his family was delighted they had surpassed their initial £500 target more than 10 times over adding that the events in John Paul’s memory would result in more support and appreciation for the work of St. Vincent De Paul.