Big thank you from

Jill Todd Trust says thanks to Oyster Festival

Barrie Todd with his daughter Jill whose life was taken by cancer in 2010.

Barrie Todd with his daughter Jill whose life was taken by cancer in 2010.

REPRESENTATIVES of the charity The Jill Todd Trust, beneficiary of the 20th Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, would like to thank everyone who supported the worthwhile cause.

The Trust is named after the late Jill Todd, a keen photographer who graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2009 with a First Class Honours degree in Photography and Film. Jill's life was taken by cancer in October 2010, aged just 23. In January 2011, Jill's family established The Jill Todd Trust, a charity to promote photography, the careers of young photographers and to raise funds for the care of those who suffer from and research into the quest to a cure for cancer.

Barrie Todd, Jill's father, thanked the festival organisers and people who supported the event. He said: May I, on behalf of Jill and The Jill Todd Trust, thank everyone who made this happen: organisers, event participants and public alike and, of course, the committee of The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival for choosing The Jill Todd Trust to be the 2012 charity"

He continued: "Jill was a very caring and fun-loving person and she would have totally endorsed the dual aims of the Festival; those being to raise funds for a good cause while enjoying all the fun and happiness life has to offer.

Mr Todd added: "The Hillsborough Oyster Festival, by comparison to many others, must surely offer the most diverse and imaginative range of events and activities, each of which draws-in more voluntary contributions.

"Take the Dromara Cycling Club's Cycle Ride from Galway to Hillsborough, a 180 mile journey involving over 60 cyclists carrying with them oysters donated by the mayor of Galway, which were then presented to the mayor of Lisburn at a reception in Hillsborough Castle. Then there was the Family Fun Day, the Fashion Show, Gala Ball, Soap Box Derby, Local schools Design and Photography Competition and Exhibition, Multi-Cultural Parade and Super Dream Car events, to mention but a few; all of which involved a huge number of volunteers and voluntary participants from diverse backgrounds."

Mr Todd said the public contribution and its humbling generosity must also be loudly applauded. "Funds collected on the street, in envelopes on tables at marquee - based events and those raised through enthusiasts paying up to £110 for a ride in a Super Dream Car (notably from a boy of 13 years old who had saved all year), completely bowled me over.

"Perhaps one contribution that best exemplified this unselfish generosity was the incident involving two Jill Todd Trust volunteers who were manning the entrance to a field which was being used for car-parking. They were experiencing some problems of access to the field and stopped a passing tractor that was being driven by two young males. These males had until that point not been involved with the Festival. When asked if they could help solve the access problem, they returned within half an hour with a trailer full of stones that they then manually shovelled off and spread over the troublesome area. The two young men departed before the volunteers were able to get their names. Fantastic," he said.

Mr Todd said he was overwhelmed by the number of volunteers, some 45 in number, who were friends and peers of Jill Todd and associates of The Friends of the Cancer Centre with which The Jill Todd Trust was linked in the fund-raising quest). "These unpaid helpers not only swarmed the village during the Saturday of the Festival, collecting donations from the public, but also provided assistance and help at all of the events. The Festival would not have been the same without them and the funds donated would not have been as substantial without their tremendous input," he said.

To donate to the Jill Todd Trust please visit

Ulster Star