The Morecambe Bay Victims Fund recently celebrated the success of its sponsored walk, which raised £280,000 for families of the Morecambe Bay victims.
The sixty-mile walk, which took the group from Liverpool to Morecambe Bay over the course of two days in February, was organised by Sir David Tang and his family. Other walkers included Nick Broomfield (film-maker), Jez Lewis (film director), Jabez Lam, Eddie Chow (Chinese Migrants Network), Raymond Wong, Tracy Wong, Hsiao-Hung Pai (journalist), and Steve Rowlatt (Unite representative).
All the money raised will go directly to the twenty-two families whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the deaths of their family members while picking cockles on the shores of northern England in February 2004. The sponsored walk has contributed to the Fund’s £500,000 target, taking the total to £420,000. This will be enough to clear all the families’ debts, which were originally incurred to finance the migrant workers’ journeys to the UK. The ongoing burden of the debt had meant that some of the victims’ children had to leave school in order to work and support their families.
The children of the victims, in a letter to the Fund, wrote: ‘In adversity, our parents had nowhere to turn to. They faced the land with their backs to the sky … giving their labour (to farming) all their lives. To improve our life, they had to leave their hometown and go to another country to sell their hard labour. When they lost their lives, the families became much burdened … The pain of watching our mothers and relatives suffer and try to pay off the debts is unbearable … We heard that you not only helped us with money but spent your time to organize the event … Your selfless devotion and high morals are most worth learning from. We will treasure this very meaningful subsidy for our education. We will see you as our model to learn from … We will work hard to raise our level of education, so that we will be able to give back to society … We will not let you down.’