Justin and Crispian’s brother Donnie was taken into care in his early teens.

‘He was in various large and impersonal hospitals for people with learning disabilities,’ Justin said, ‘But United Response changed this’. 

For fifteen years, our Wimbledon service provided Donnie, who had Down’s syndrome, with care. He quickly became part of our family.

‘His life became so enriched when he started living as part of the community,’ Justin said, ‘These were some of the happiest years of Donnie’s life’. 

A family legacy in memory of Donnie

Justin and his family felt so passionate about the care we provided that, after Donnie passed away, they returned the favour—and started supporting United Response.

Crispian said: ‘I wanted to use my passion for motor racing to tell others about United Response’s work and make it possible for more people with learning disabilities to live life to the full.’

Crispian, motor racing champion, who won the Front Engine class in the 2008 Historic FJ Racing Championships, asked for sponsorship in relation to the number of points he scored in the 2009 season. Throughout the year he raised an amazing £15,250! Part of this was used to fund a garden room at the Wimbledon service.

‘It’s a legacy in Donnie's memory which would have given him great pleasure and hopefully continues to spread happiness and fulfilment’

Donnie’s mother Pamela also donated in memory of Donnie to help fund a garden room, and Justin took part in his own fundraising challenge.

Justin took on the first four legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in a 70 foot sailing boat amongst a crew of 20, sailing against 11 other boats. He spent 157 days at sea, and raised an impressive £9,250 at the same time!

And when Pamela sadly passed away in 2014, she pledged a gift in her Will to United Response as a further thank you for the support provided to Donnie.

Now, the family continue to help us reach out to others who are passionate about the care of people with learning disabilities, and encourage them to leave a gift in their Will. Not everyone can participate in challenge events, but a gift in your Will is another way to support us.

‘The staff are truly exceptional people,’ Justin said, ‘We, as a family, will always be in the debt of United Response and its wonderful carers, for the care and support they gave to Donnie.’

We would like to thank the Besley family for their continued support and passion for what we do.

Remember a charity

This week is Remember a Charity Week, where charities reach out to supporters to ask them to consider leaving a gift in their Will. As official members of Remember a Charity Week, we can offer free advice for supporters who want to write or update their Will and/or a specially discounted Will.
Find out more information about leaving a gift in your Will