Anti-vaxxers disrupt another charity fundraiser in Chichester

Anti-vaccine protesters have once again disrupted the fundraising efforts of charities in Chichester.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Sarah Lawlor and her 19-year-old son Jack, who has Down's syndrome, had booked a fundraising day at the Market Cross on Saturday (October 23) to raise vital funds for two of the mayor's charities - Chichester Down's Syndrome Support Group and Chestnut Tree House.

Teaching assistant Sarah said: "I am part of the Chichester Down's Syndrome Support Group and I went along with my son Jack."

Jack and Sarah Lawlor outside Nationwide on Saturday

People had fundraising from 9am, and Sarah and Jack took over the duty at 11am.

"Behind us they were setting up a marquee and microphones. It was really quite loud. We didn't want to be associated with them so we decided to move so we moved outside nationwide but then, because I was doing 11am to 1pm, people starting coming up with their big banners.

"They were too close to us - then we moved outside Bill's. We just kept moving away. Standing at the cross is the best - I would definitely say we lost out [on money].

"Jack is a great advertisement for the charity - he is always smiling. He is just one of those people who will attract your attention. He has got the loveliest smile, he is just such a happy charming young man."

It was not just Sarah and Jack who struggled with the demonstration. Another mother and her son, fundraising later in the day, described the demonstration as 'disruptive' and 'really loud'.

After detailing her experience, Sarah said she and Jack received 'a lot of support' from Chichester residents.

"I was quite impressed with how supportive people were. I didn't think anyone would comment."

If you missed the volunteers on Saturday, you can still donate to Chichester Down's Syndrome Support Group here: Chichester Down Syndrome Support GroupLast month, fundraisers for Chichester Hospital Radio had their efforts disrupted when another group of protests arrived at the Market Cross.