Mohamed Amersi's family is 'honoured' to back campaign for monument

Business chief’s £100,000 boost for Covid memorial: Entrepreneur Mohamed Amersi’s family is ‘honoured’ to back campaign for national monument

  • The businessman said he was ‘honoured’ to help create the Covid-19 memorial 
  • Means the campaign is fast closing in on its £2.3million target to build landmark 
  • More than 7,000 Mail readers have also donated to the Covid-19 memorial fund 

The Daily Mail’s Remember Me campaign takes another huge stride towards its target today thanks to a £100,000 donation from entrepreneur and philanthropist Mohamed Amersi and his family.

The top businessman said he was ‘honoured’ to help create the Covid-19 memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral with the gift through the Amersi Foundation.

It means the campaign is fast closing in on its £2.3million target to build the multi-faith tribute at the London landmark. The total raised so far is over £1.7million.

The top businessman said he was ‘honoured’ to help create the Covid-19 memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral with the gift through the Amersi Foundation

Mr Amersi, 61, founder of asset management firm Emergent Telecom Ventures, said: ‘We were honoured when the Daily Mail contacted the Amersi Foundation to consider making a contribution towards this very noble cause.’ He added: ‘We were so pleased to see the St Paul’s initiative of having this multi-faith, multi-community memorial being brought to fruition as it will serve as a lasting memory to the many lives tragically lost through Covid-19.’

The foundation had previously presented the Government with a similar idea to remember Covid-19 victims and even offered to donate a 30-acre site to create a ‘corona war cemetery’. The organisation, which was created in 2012, was also quick to join efforts to help fight the pandemic last year. Mr Amersi, a fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, said: ‘Normally, the foundation has supported initiatives involving, among other causes, youth empowerment, inclusive capitalism, entrepreneurship and innovation and [combating] modern-day slavery.

‘However, at the start of Covid-19, the foundation turned its attention to fighting an asymmetric war with an enemy that could not be seen or touched and which established bases in every country of the world and indiscriminately targeted all strata of society. It was a humbling experience. “No one is safe until we are all safe” resonated very strongly with us.’

The foundation supported ventilator development, Covid-19 lateral flow and LAMP testing methodology coming out of Oxford University and its Oxford Foundry entrepreneurship centre. It also fought against dangerous misinformation surrounding Covid-19 and supplied food and other essentials to workers on the frontline.

A further substantial donation to the memorial at St Paul’s has been made by Jacky Lambert, founder of the Tutor The Nation charity. She said: ‘Like so many, I was moved to give something in memory of those who have died.’

The former investment banker set up Tutor The Nation, which matches university students and state school pupils to offer free online tutoring, after being inspired to help children who fell behind due to the pandemic.

Mr Amersi, 61, founder of asset management firm Emergent Telecom Ventures, with Theresa May

More than 7,000 Mail readers have also donated to the Covid memorial fund, with more than £115,000 arriving in the post and £178,000 given on the cathedral’s online Crowdfunder page.

Together with £1million secured by the Mail in pledges – including gifts from Apprentice star Lord Sugar and businessmen Matt Moulding and Sir Tom Hunter – almost £1.3million has now been raised. Combined with funds previously collected by the cathedral, the current total is £1,739,540. It is hoped the memorial can be completed for the pandemic’s second anniversary in March 2022.

Fewer than 1,900 of the Mail’s 5,000 Remember Me candles are still available. They can be claimed by those donating at least £25.

Now join us… and get this beautiful memorial candle with your £25 donation 

What is the plan? To create a memorial in St Paul’s Cathedral to those who died as a result of the pandemic, whether direct victims of Covid or those whose medical treatment was disrupted by lockdown restrictions. The memorial will let people of any faith pay their respects to family and friends at a permanent site

What is the plan?

To create a memorial in St Paul’s Cathedral to those who died as a result of the pandemic, whether direct victims of Covid or those whose medical treatment was disrupted by lockdown restrictions. The memorial will let people of any faith pay their respects to family and friends at a permanent site.

How will it work?

St Paul’s has set up Remember Me – an online book of remembrance. Anyone wishing to remember a loved one can submit, free of charge, the name, photograph and a short message in honour of their loved one at www.rememberme2020.uk

At least four virtual books of remembrance will be installed in the cathedral’s Middlesex Chapel. Visitors will be able to light candles or simply sit in contemplation.

Where will it be?

A newly built wooden portico will be set in the north transept of the cathedral, away from the busier main doors. Entrance will be free. It will sit on the site of an earlier hallway which was destroyed by a Luftwaffe bomb in 1941.

Alongside works of non-religious art, the words ‘Remember Me’ will be written in all the main languages of the UK. Visitors will walk through the portico to reach the remembrance area in the Middlesex Chapel.

How much is needed?

£2.3million. Of this, £1.13million is needed to pay for the portico and £670,000 to run the exhibition for two years. Money is needed for the preparatory design work, symbolic artwork and signage. The hope is to open it in March 2022 for the second anniversary of the pandemic. Around £440,000 has already been raised.

Any money raised over the £2.3m required will be used in a variety of ways to help preserve the memorial.

Is it part of Mail Force?

No, the Mail is supporting the St Paul’s Cathedral Foundation to raise funds for the memorial.

Where will it be? A newly built wooden portico will be set in the north transept of the cathedral, away from the busier main doors. Entrance will be free. It will sit on the site of an earlier hallway which was destroyed by a Luftwaffe bomb in 1941

Is this the official national memorial?

There are no other current plans for a national memorial. What started as an online St Paul’s memorial, backed by the Prince of Wales and all major faith leaders, has now turned into a project for a physical and living memorial inside the cathedral.

How can you donate?

Go to crowdfunder.co.uk/rememberme. You can donate any sum you like but the first 5,000 people to donate online using the special £25 ‘Limited Edition Candle from the Daily Mail’ button will receive a free Remember Me frankincense scented candle funded by the Mail. By clicking this button, you will have the option of adding a larger sum. Donors using the ‘£50 Reward’ button will receive a year’s free membership to St Paul’s Cathedral, worth £30. Regrettably, donations made by cheque will not be eligible for the free candle or St Paul’s membership.

Make cheques payable to St Paul’s Cathedral Foundation and send it to Remember Me, Chapter House, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD. To boost your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate, please fill in and cut out the form and add this to your envelope.

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