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Over £40,000 raised for BBC Children in Need as a tribute to Milford mum Louise Walsh who ran Big Learner Relay challenge





MORE than £40,000 has been raised for Children in Need as a tribute to Milford mum and super-fundraiser Louise Walsh who died in August.

Mum-of-three Louise (50) was the driving force behind the nationwide Big Learner Relay challenge which raised over £500,000 for the BBC charity in the past decade.

Back in 2013, Louise, who ran the Love Driving school with her husband Blaine, decided to relay a driving instructor’s top box around the UK, passing it from lesson to lesson and covering a distance of around 3,000 miles.

Louise Walsh 6
Louise Walsh 6

A final 10th anniversary relay was planned for this autumn, but after Louise’s sudden death in August, the national event was called off with Louise’s family encouraging driving instructors to arrange their own fundraisers.

Louise’s sister Amy said: “The total raised so far this year is £40,070 – this is a fantastic amount considering we didn’t hold any national events.”

Hampshire and West Sussex drivers shared a memorial drive and meal
Hampshire and West Sussex drivers shared a memorial drive and meal

Three local fundraising events took place before the BBC Children in Need appeals day. The first involved driving instructors from Hampshire and Sussex joining a memorial drive in honour of Louise. Starting from their local areas, participants travelled to Alton for a meal and quiz.

Amy said: “They had 33 spotty cars and a bus that Stage Coach loaned them to spotty up. During their fundraising day, they raised over £550.”

Big Learner Relay children in need louise walsh with shane ritchie eastenders
Big Learner Relay children in need louise walsh with shane ritchie eastenders

Ten instructors from the Isle of Wight held a meet-and-greet with Pudsey and relayed around the Isle of Wight raising £500. In Salisbury MBM driving school organised under-17s driving lessons along with a meet-and-greet with Pudsey to raise £950.

Hampshire and West Sussex drivers shared a memorial drive and meal in honour of Louise (inset)
Hampshire and West Sussex drivers shared a memorial drive and meal in honour of Louise (inset)

Louise’s husband Blaine said: “Louise would be immensely proud of the efforts to continue to raise money for BBC Children in Need through the Big Learner Relay this year.

Salisbury instructors organised under 17s lessons for Children in Need
Salisbury instructors organised under 17s lessons for Children in Need

“The total speaks volumes about the impact she had on the industry and the love people have for the relay.

Salisbury instructors organised under 17s lessons for Children in Need
Salisbury instructors organised under 17s lessons for Children in Need

“We as her family, have all felt so touched to see everyone still making an effort and would like to say thank you to everyone who has kept the fundraising going for one final year in her honour.”



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