Today marks one year since Freddie McLennan, a passionate young man with a huge love of football, was tragically killed in a car crash whilst travelling in Bolivia. Freddie was a fan of most sports - but especially football - and his beloved Liverpool FC. He was so delighted to have watched Liverpool lift the Champions League trophy just a week before his passing.
Freddie's mother, Miranda, and his cousin, Rob Eades, a content creating chef and fitness coach, have since gone above and beyond for the young people on our programmes, raising over £50,000 across various campaigns and events to support our work. As part of their commitment to our young people, they also came up to Manchester to visit our programme in Salford, as well as visiting our offices in Brixton and helping out at one of our summer schools last year.
At FBB, we are incredibly touched that Freddie's family chose to honour his love for football and continue his legacy through the work we do with young people. To mark the anniversary of his passing, we interviewed his mother Miranda to find out more about the recent 1,000 mile challenge that her family and friends participated in to raise funds for FBB:
How did the 1,000 mile challenge come about?
“I wanted to set this challenge for something positive to do as we approach the first anniversary of losing Freddie. He loved sports of all kinds, so it felt like the right thing to ask as many people as possible to join in. The idea of running, walking or cycling a mile and donating £1 meant that we could appeal to all physical abilities and open it up to everyone financially, as lots of Freddie’s friends are students. The 1000 mile challenge seemed like a big number, but achievable with enough people participating.”
What was the response like from friends and family?
“I hadn’t anticipated the sheer number of people who threw themselves into this and enjoyed being outside exercising so much. This was the effect of being able to exercise without restrictions after lockdown and being able to meet a friend once again outdoors, albeit at a social distance. People loved being outdoors and meeting their friends again. So many of Freddie’s friends enjoyed seeing each other after lockdown and they said they spent miles walking and talking about Freddie. I was pleased that it came at the end of mental health awareness week too, people realised the positive mental effect of being outdoors and exercising.”
What are your reflections after raising so much for FBB?
“The enthusiasm, the commitment, and the energy everyone has put into this has been humbling and overwhelming. People have been extraordinarily generous too, and have really wanted to help FBB at this difficult time. We are so amazed at the incredible result that we would love to make it an annual event. A positive yearly fundraising activity that helps us all to remember Freddie as we approach another year without him. He was also very competitive, so of course, the only thing to do is to have the total mileage from this year as the target mileage for next year! It’s going to be a big jump up, but we are confident that everyone wants to do this again, but involve even more of their friends and family.”
Do you have a message for everyone that got involved?
“I think I’m very lucky to have such amazing friends and family who embraced the challenge. And I think being in lockdown for so many weeks made people want to get out and get some fresh air. Freddie’s friends said they loved the opportunity of being out with another friend and chatting about Freddie. We all just love Freddie and wanted to do something positive to remember him, particularly with his anniversary approaching.”
Would you like to send a message to the FBB Family?
“We are so grateful to you all at FBB for giving him a legacy that lives on. We only wish that you could have met him, but this event gives you some idea of the love and energy he always had and how he loved to be active and adventurous.”
Thank you so much Miranda. Jasper Kain, Director of FBB, also wanted to share this message with Freddie’s family and friends:
“Although we sadly never got to meet Freddie, his legacy lives on and it feels as though he is a massive part of the FBB family. We are extremely grateful to Miranda and her friends and family for the phenomenal level of support that they have provided FBB in the past year. From volunteering on educational projects with our young people to the countless fundraising activities, her generosity has been incredible. At a time when our work is more needed than ever before, it has been a source of great inspiration to our team who do such important work.”
Inspired by Miranda's 1000 mile challenge, we are launching a special fitness challenge to bring together the whole of the FBB Family to raise funds for our FBB virtual school. Find out more about the FBB2020 campaign here.