‘Mum in a million’ who died of Covid-19 inspires Rotherham Hospital charity fundraising

The family of a woman who died following a battle with Covid-19 are celebrating her life by walking two million steps to raise funds for The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 8:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 8:14 am
Carolyn Joy Linkens

Carolyn Joy Linkens was cared for at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust before she passed away on May 9, 2020, aged 53. Carolyn’s dedicated family are marking the anniversary of her death by tackling the ‘Margot Marches to Millions’ challenge, named after her four-and-a-half month old granddaughter.

Carolyn’s daughter Emily Wilkinson of Kingstone, Barnsley, has organised the challenge alongside her 31-year-old sister Charlotte Longhorn, a Blood Management Practitioner for NHS Blood and Transplant. The sisters will be joined by Charlotte’s husband Chris, Emily’s husband Ben and baby Margot.

Emily, 28, Head of Lower School at the Willows School, Rotherham, said: “The staff in critical care gave up everything to be like family to my mum before she passed away and when we couldn’t be there ourselves due to the lockdown restrictions. The amazing care she received, the video calls, daily updates and the knitted hearts really meant the world to us.

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Charlotte Longhorn and husband Chris with Emily Wilkinson, Emily’s husband Ben and baby Margot.

“We decided that every year to celebrate her life we will do a fundraising challenge for our local NHS charity to give something back to those who helped her when we were unable to.

“The day she went into hospital we had told her we were expecting Margot and we know what an amazing granny she would have been. So this year we will ‘march with Margot’ to complete two million steps. We have 30 days to complete our challenge, the same time mum was in hospital for.

“We’re really enjoying the challenge so far, especially now the weather is lovely and lockdown restrictions mean we can walk with other members of our family. We hope as many people as possible will continue to sponsor us.”

Emily and her family are raising funds to enable the charity to purchase a custom-made glass sculpture for the new Snowdrop memorial garden at Rotherham Hospital. The sculpture will be crafted with coloured glass, reminiscent of the NHS rainbows created by youngsters to show solidarity to the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baby Margot

The family has almost completed their two million steps and have raised £2,515 so far.

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said: “The ‘Margot Marches to Millions’ fundraising walk is a wonderful, poignant tribute to Carolyn. We are incredibly grateful to Carolyn’s family for the lovely feedback about the care she received at Rotherham Hospital and for challenging themselves to take on such a big fundraising event.

“You can show you’re with them every step of the way by boosting their Just Giving page. In addition to the wonderful glass sculpture, all the money they raise will help the charity to fund the extra special resources, projects and equipment which the NHS would ordinarily not be able to afford and which benefit our patients and their families.”

You can sponsor Carolyn’s family via Just Giving here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-wilkinson9