North Devon man’s fundraising campaign inspired by The Archers tops £100,000

Helen Titchener, played by Louiza Patikas, and Rob Titchener, played by Timothy Watson, from the BB

Helen Titchener, played by Louiza Patikas, and Rob Titchener, played by Timothy Watson, from the BBC Radio 4 soap, The Archers. Picture: BBC - Credit: PA

Viral fundraising campaign for domestic abuse charity rocketed after dramatic stabbing storyline on The Archers on Sunday night.

Archers fan Paul Trueman has raised 10s of thousands of pounds for Refuge

Archers fan Paul Trueman has raised 10s of thousands of pounds for Refuge - Credit: Archant

A fundraising campaign set up by a North Devon fan of The Archers has raised more than £100,000 for a domestic violence charity.

Paul Trueman, from Georgeham, was inspired to set up the Helen Titchner Rescue Fund for national charity Refuge, inspired by the character on the Radio Four show.

The character has been subjected to abuse by her husband Rob over several months, but this all came to a head on Sunday night when she stabbed him.

Paul said his heart was ‘pounding in his throat’ while listening to the programme, and urged fans of the show to help him hit £100,000 for Refuge.

The 41-year-old first launched the JustGiving page in February, and told the Gazette at the time: “This is something that’s really happening to real women all over the country.


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“It was social media that opened the door, but it was the community that has been so incredibly generous.”

His campaign has been generously supported by celebrities including Sir Patrick Stewart, Lauren Laverne, Carol Vorderman and Kirstie Allsop.

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Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “The dramatic twist in Sunday evening’s episode led to a huge spike in donations, and it is testament to the scriptwriters’ skill in portraying a desperate woman driven to a desperate act that so many felt compelled to give.

“The ‘real time’ approach the writers have taken to showing how an abuser controls and confuses his partner over time is incredibly powerful – and sadly all too accurate.

“Sunday’s episode was a realistic portrayal of how a victim of prolonged abuse may one day respond when she is in great danger.

“Talking about domestic violence is still taboo, and The Archers’ storyline has given Refuge a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness, reaching women who may be experiencing the same kind of abuse as Helen Titchener.

“I am truly grateful to both The Archers and everyone who donated – particularly Paul Trueman, the Refuge supporter who began the page. Your support will make a real difference.”

Refuge supports 3,700 women and children every day. To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/helentitchener.

BBC

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