I hope it is appropriate to share this with you. For many years I have supported a charity set up by a former colleague who taught with me in Scotland. Barry Copeland lost his wife and two daughters (aged 7 & 10) in the most tragic of car accidents in January 2008. The car slid on hydraulic fluid spilled by a crane and was hit by an oncoming vehicle; all three died instantly.
I recall the police coming to my school to break the news to Barry. I vividly remember standing at the door to my office and watching as he walked towards me, knowing that the news he was about to hear would change his life forever. That moment still haunts me.
In honour of his family, Barry set up a charity known as the The Copeland Family Trust Fund, found at www.copelandfamilytrustfund.com. The charity has opened and supports a hospital in Koraput, one of the poorest and remotest tribal areas of Eastern India. Essentially it aims to treat leprosy (working alongside the charity Lepra) but it is open to all-comers at no cost, and needs just £12,000 pa to keep going. I believe Ciara and Niamh, Barry’s two girls, were learning about leprosy at school before their untimely deaths.
With the world still facing the Covid-19 pandemic, many charities have suffered and the Trust is 20% down on its funds raised this year. Barry has decided to cycle 1000 miles in the month of October, climbing 100,000 feet in the process, in an attempt to plug that gap. If you wish to find out more about this charity and support Barry’s fundraising, then please do visit the website. Thank you for reading.