On Friday 17th Jan 2020 13 year old Lillie Cotgrove had an idea to pitch to her school teachers after being told about an upcoming 'Dragons den" competition.
She needed a business plan and she wanted it to make 300k to get her poorly friend Lily Wythe on a clinical trial in the U.S for her inoperable DIPG Brain tumour.
The idea was simple. get 300,000 people to give a pound each. Call them 'One Pound Warriors' and then ask big businesses to ask employees to pledge a pound a month to help Lily.
She asked her mum to help her set up the page on Facebook to try to prove that it could work on a smaller scale for her 'pitch'.
Within 24 hours Lillie had made over 70k.
Her mum could not look up from her laptop and had to desperately enlist friends to go on the group as admin and help. it was complete chaos. The entire community got involved. Twitter groups were set up to get celebs involved, fundraisers were quickly planned up and down the country, Johnathon Ross, Rachel Riley, Keith Lemon, Saffron Barker, Rylan Clark,so many stars and businesses all supporting it. Lillie was on the BBC breakfast sofa, it was all over the news, the national papers, radio.
Brain Tumour Research came along and helped explain to the media why we need these trials in the UK.
After 10 emotional days of offers of help, kindness and donations from nearly 150,000 people Lillie hit her target of 300,000.
The One Pound Warriors was now a huge incredible caring online community and Lily had the money to get to Seattle.
150,000 people. Many wanting to continue helping together. we weren't a registered charity and had no experience, we were just parents that had been thrown into the deep end with this tiny idea that had gone viral.
But we made an incredible team and wanted to keep helping.
Lily had been helped since her diagnosis by a wonderful local charity Gold Geese, We decided to together, try to help another little boy with a DIPG to have his treatment. We raised around £80,000 to put toward his treatment fund.
Brain Tumour Research have helped us warriors from day 1 with all the media and logistical support and also are just wonderful inspiring people. They made us realise the importance of supporting research in the UK which is desperately underfunded, so that we can help as many children and adults as possible in the long term, not have to go through this.
Our aim now is to fundraise for this desperately needed research into brain tumours by helping to forward the progress for a cure in the UK through Brain Tumour Research in memory of Lily.