Bootle – A toast to fast fundraisers

Elaine Corran has been knocked sideways by bighearted Bootle colleagues’ response to her plea for help in a race against time to give a seriously ill young girl life-prolonging treatment.

She had already held events at home to raise just over £360 towards a £40,000 target for a friend’s daughter, who has a DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) brain tumour. The money will enable 12 year-old Charlie Rimmer to travel to Germany for treatment that it’s hoped will gift her another two years and Elaine’s workmates rushed to offer their help.

VOLT, the site’s own charity committee, pledged to match any amount raised. Key/Balance/Clerical Days Manager, John Connolly’s brainwave of a Toast for Charlie morning was rapidly extended across the next few days and included all shifts as well as Elaine’s colleagues in Application Mainframe Support/ IT Services. The evening shift organised their own raffle and a Spot the Ball competition.

The VOLT committee, which initially agreed to match the eventual £245 raised from the toast morning, quickly upped its gift to £500. Charlie was originally given six months to live, but chemotherapy extended that to nine months, during which time her family has been fund-raising privately to help her fulfil a bucket list. However, they went public after discovering the new treatment, which is only available in Germany. Charlie is too ill to fly and so the aim is to take her on a 14 hour overland trip as soon as the £40,000 target is reached.

The Go Fund Me page at is already £745 richer, with more expected from Bootle’s latest efforts. Elaine is overwhelmed by everyone’s response and says the family is over the moon at their kindness. “A massive thank you to John, who set up the event, and to all of my fabulous friends and colleagues for their unbelievably generous donations. “I’ve worked here for 36 years and I’m very lucky to be able to call so many of them my friends. Bootle has a fantastic bunch of people.”

John Connolly lays out a range of tasty Toast for Charlie goodies.


BOOTLE is pretty good at piling up the bread for other good causes too.

A local appeal for children from struggling families sparked such a response that a van was filled to bursting with Christmas gifts. Another plea to provide clothes for the homeless packed a second van and Bootle people were also quick to contribute to a local animal refuge, duly delivered by Lockbox team member, Shirley Collins, who volunteers there.

An extremely successful Christmas Wish Tree raffle meant they could gift donations to Cancer Research, the Whitechapel Centre (for homeless people), the Stroke Association and Merseyside’s St Joseph’s Hospice, known as Thornton Jospice. Key/Balance/Clerical Days Manager, John Connolly and fellow VOLT committee members – night shift T27 Operator, Karen Brownrigg, and day shift Supervisors, Jane Jackson and Colette Pettigrew – have high praise for their colleagues’ response. “We had over 200 presents collected for the toy appeal alone. The level of generosity has been amazing,” comments John.