Covid appeal for poorer countries hits £26k thanks to 'Suffolk's Greta Thunberg'

Beatrice Scott

Beatrice Scott, who donated all her pocket money to the cause, created her own cheque to commemorate the achievement - Credit: Beatrice Scott / John Havard

A seven-year-old's 'golden pound' has sparked a boost in fundraising which has seen a small Suffolk town generate enough cash for nearly a million vaccines. 

Saxmundham Health Patient Participation Group's (SHPPG) COVAX appeal has reached £26,000 - which will enable more than 900,000 vaccine doses to be sent to help protect health workers in low- and middle-income countries.

Although youngster Beatrice Scott only donated a single pound to the appeal, the fact that this coin represented all of her savings touched the hearts of many local patients from the practice.

She was dubbed the 'Greta Thunberg of Saxmundham' because she saw a problem and wanted to do everything in her power to tackle it.

Beatrice Scott and her mother Ruth

Beatrice Scott and her mother Ruth - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Now she has been recognised by UNICEF, who are running the COVAX effort, in a letter of thanks to Saxmundham Surgery and the community.

Mike Golding, SHPPG secretary, said: "It is a remarkable effort and it shows what the patients feel about the way the vaccines have been delivered here. Saxmundham was international news as the 'most vaccinated town in England' and local people felt really proud about that."

Dr John Harvard of Saxmundham Health Centre is helping the area become the most vaccinated in Englan

Dr John Havard of Saxmundham Health Centre - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Dr John Havard said Beatrice's '"golden pound" was the donation that inspired so many others to contribute.

He said: "The PPG and staff have made an unprecedented effort over so many long weekends to ensure our patients get vaccinated. It has been humbling to witness both the appreciation of patients and also their determination to help others in poorer parts of the world."

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Steven Waugh, the executive director of UNICEF UK, said: "We are so grateful that during an unprecedented time for the NHS you have made such an amazing effort to think of the world's children, and to encourage your patients to do the same.

Beatrice has been called the 'Greta Thunberg of Saxmundham'

Beatrice has been called the 'Greta Thunberg of Saxmundham' - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Beatrice has been called the 'Greta Thunberg of Saxmundham'

Beatrice has been called the 'Greta Thunberg of Saxmundham' - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"The total of over £26,000 is a wonderful achievement, and will make such a difference in our efforts to deliver 2 billion vaccines, as well as millions of treatments around the world. 

"It is remarkable to hear how people from across the generations have been encouraged by the team at Saxmundham Surgery to donate to Unicef UK, from the children giving up their pocket money to the generous donations of your older patients."

Beatrice, who learned about the appeal at Saxmundham Primary School, told her mum Ruth she had decided to donate her pocket money because: "What's more important - a toy or saving a life?" 

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