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Charity fundraiser set up in tribute to Owen Drew founder after his sudden death

1 year ago

Charity fundraiser set up in tribute to Owen Drew founder after his sudden death

A charity fundraiser has been started by the business partner of Owen Drew founder Drew Cockton after his sudden death last weekend.

Mike Skeggs, who created the candle and fragrance company with Drew on a kitchen table back in 2016, says he wants the appeal in his memory to be their largest ever charity donation.

A Just Giving fundraiser has already raised almost £5,000 within a day of being launched.

Drew’s family and friends have been flooded with messages of love and support since his death aged just 36.

He died at home in Wirral less than 24 hours after the LGBTQ+ Business Awards, which he founded in 2021, were held at the Titanic Hotel.

Mike, his best friend as well as business partner, says a charitable donation in his name is a fitting way for him to be remembered.

“Drew had spent his whole life giving back and our ethos as soon as we started Owen Drew was that we were very lucky to be in the position that we were in, and we wanted to help others so we’ve always done charity work.

“We always focused on doing whatever we could to help so starting this appeal was a natural progression – that’s what he did in life and if something good can come out of something so terrible that’s what he’d want us to do and it’s what I felt I wanted to do to commemorate him.

“Drew has been so important for so many people. He was everything to everyone, he built such a family around him of businesses and friends that he supported. We all built each other up and everything started with him, so it doesn’t come as any surprise to me that he was so loved. 

“But it’s been really lovely to see everyone take the time to leave a message, and to donate when were in the depths of the cost of living crisis.”

Mike initially set a target of £1,000, then £2,000 and with a large amount of backers already he’s now aiming for at least £10,000.

“We’ve raised a lot of money over the years but I want this to be his biggest charitable donation to date,” he says.

Tributes have come in from hundreds of friends and the wider business community since the announcement of his death.

Among those to express sadness were socialite and entrepreneur Paris Hilton, who was a customer and became a friend, and Dragon’s Den star Toulker Suleyman who praised Drew’s drive, passion, business acumen and energy. Drew appeared on the BBC show in 2021 and secured a £50,000 investment from the Dragon.

The award-winning Owen Drew fragrance brand will now be carried on by Mike.

“Between Drew and I, it would be expected,” he says. “He would know that I would get up on the Monday morning and come in and do exactly what needed to be done to keep going.

“I am steadfastly committed to finishing what we started, and I’m determined to build him a legacy – the first stage of that is the fundraising and supporting Drew’s chosen charities.”

To donate to the Just Giving fundraiser, go to: the JustGiving page here. 

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