Cash pours in for family's right-to-die cause

This Is Wiltshire: Jane and Tony Nicklinson with daughters Beth and Lauren Jane and Tony Nicklinson with daughters Beth and Lauren

Jane Nicklinson has thanked the local supporters of her late husband Tony’s right-to-die appeal, after a fundraising campaign raised over £3,000 in three days.

Mr Nicklinson, 58, died last year in his Melksham home, a week after he lost a landmark legal bid to end his life with a doctor's help.

His wife and daughters Lauren and Beth vowed to continue his campaign to change the law on assisted suicide, and set up an internet page last Thursday with the goal of raising £5,000.

During the weekend £3,000 in donations came in from individuals, groups and companies. Mrs Nicklinson said she has been touched by public support following her husband’s death.

“I have boxes full of letters and emails from members of the public, people who didn’t know Tony, people who did – people from across society,” she said.

“That support has meant an incredible amount to me and the family, and we can't thank them enough for that.

“This is just one step on the ladder, but it is a step in the right direction. We are doing this for Tony and those who support him.”

The family cannot claim legal aid to help with the financial burden of the case, as it was withdrawn when Mr Nicklinson died.

Mrs Nicklinson said: “We’ve been amazed by the response. There have been all sorts of donations coming in, from small ones of £1 or £10, to some quite large amounts.

“They’ve come from all over the world, we’ve had money from Italy and Canada, but mostly it’s from the UK, and lots of messages of support from people locally.”

Melksham-based entertainment website The Digital Fix has been supporting the campaign, encouraging its readers to donate.

Director Colin Polonowski said: “We’re a locally-run website, and usually we do fundraising for national causes, but this year we wanted to support something closer to home.

“I live in Melksham, so I’ve followed the Nicklinsons’ case, and wanted to do something to show my support.”

The case is expected to be heard this May. Mrs Nicklinson admits it is likely to be a long campaign but said the family was determined to fight for her husband’s cause.

She said: “We are asking for help to cover court fees, copying charges for the volumes of legal authorities which need to be prepared, travel costs and other sundry expenses related to the case.

“This money is not for lawyers' fees, but the other expenses to do with running a legal case.”

Donations can be made via http://tinyurl.com/bwlv62k

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