Caple’s Initiatives to Support BEWT

March 7, 2024
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The Caple team has a long history of raising money for charity. We are always supporting worthy initiatives such as the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning. In 2021 however, our company’s charitable fundraising activities took a new direction. On 13th May 2020, Billie Wood, the beloved daughter of Caple Service Director Richard Wood, passed away suddenly. This was after she experienced a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). However, there were no warning signs and no pre-existing health conditions. Billie was just 25 years old.

The Caple family unites

Billie was the niece of Caple’s Managing Director Danny Lay and Finance Director Graham Perry, and the granddaughter of Chairman Maurice Lay.

In fact, Billie’s family set this up to fund research into the trauma that led to her tragic death. This was in an effort to prevent it from happening to others. Caple has organised a number of fundraising charity events to raise money for the Billie Elizabeth Wood Trust (BEWT).

Caple and BEWT’s charitable fundraising efforts have supported the creation of two new specialist subarachnoid haemorrhage research role posts at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital. Billie spent six days in intensive care there, following her SAH. She then experienced a ‘vasospasm’, which caused a fatal stroke.

Charity fundraising events for BEWT

In the past few years, the Caple team has participated in a number of fundraising charity events. Their aim has been to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity. This is the official charity of North Bristol NHS Trust and the donations would help to fund these new positions.

The first big event was the Hadrian’s Wall Walk. The various COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions posed an added challenge to all charitable fundraising efforts during that period. But our Caple team were resolute. Then, a group of family and friends, with an age range of 20 to 65, embarked on the walk. This was from one side of England to another, along the route of Hadrian’s Wall. This involved a 20-25km walk every day for six days. They travelled from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Segedunum Roman Fort on the River Tyne in Newcastle – an impressive 136km in total.

Pulling together in memory of Billie

The most recent big fundraising charity event for BEWT was the Thames Rowing Challenge. Over five days, 14 of Billie’s friends and family rowed 85 miles along the Thames, travelling in four vintage skiffs. Billie’s dad Richard had an extra challenge to overcome in order to take part. Not only had he never rowed a boat before but he also could not swim. So, lessons duly followed. Then Richard was part of the rowing team that raised more than £43,000 for BEWT, smashing the original £30,000 target.

Supportive business partnerships

More vital funds for BEWT were raised this year, Sirius Buying Group trade show awards gala dinner 2023 ran a charity auction, which raised funds for their chosen charity BEWT, resulting in £12,000 being raised.

Bottom L-R: Service Director Richard Wood and Sirius Buying Group’s Managing Director Steve Jones with the generous amount raised at the Sirius annual gala dinner charity auction

 Top L-R: Managing Director Danny Lay and Finance Director Graham Perry join them

If you would like to donate to BEWT to support research into subarachnoid haemorrhage, please click here.