United Kingdom

Sarah Everard: More than £500,000 raised in tribute to go to women’s grassroots charities

More than £500,000 raised in Sarah Everard’s memory will go to grassroots women’s charities. 

A fundraiser set up in the wake of the 33-year-old’s death has accumulated about £520,000, as of 7am on Sunday, and will now be managed by grant-making charity Rosa.

Reclaim These Streets, who organised the fundraiser, said they had wanted to raise money for women’s charities after numerous vigils they planned around the country were cancelled because of lockdown restrictions.

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Sarah Everard went missing in south London earlier this month

Ms Everard went missing on 3 March while walking home from a friend’s house in south London.

After days of searching, her remains were found in woodlands in Kent – sparking public outcry and a conversation around the day-to-day sexual harassment and personal safety issues faced by women.

Announcing it would be taking over management of the fundraiser, Rosa said it is the “only UK charitable funder dedicated to supporting women’s and girls’ organisations”.

“We will use this money to reach organisations working to change and save women’s and girls’ lives,” it added.

Donations to the fundraiser were made “in response to the awful recent events and the countless other incidents where women and girls have been scarred by violence and harassment”, Reclaim These Streets said.

The money had initially been raised to fund legal costs to challenge a decision from the Metropolitan Police not to let a planned vigil in Clapham Common go ahead.

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Police clash with crowds at Sarah Everard vigil

But after a High Court judge refused to intervene, Reclaim These Streets said it would be officially cancelling the vigil due to a “lack of constructive engagement from the Metropolitan Police” and instead funnelling the money into women’s causes.

“We were told that pressing ahead could risk a £10,000 fine each for each woman organising. Even if we came to this amazing community for help in meeting those costs, we think that this would be a poor use of our and your money,” the organisers said.

“We do not want to see hundreds of thousands of pounds contributed to a system that consistently fails to keep women safe – either in public spaces or in the privacy of their homes.”

Any donations to the fundraiser will soon be directly made to Rosa.

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