In Connor’s Memory
541. Darran Saunders
540. Shaun Saunders
Couple keep their son’s memory alive
Husband and wife Shaun and Darran Saunders, both aged 52 from Brighton, established the Connor Saunders Foundation after their son Connor was tragically killed in an unprovoked attack. After Connor passed away, his parents found out that he’d registered as an organ donor aged 16. Connor gave the gift of life to five other people. In Connor’s memory his parents now promote organ donation. They have also raised over £35,000 to buy defibrillators for local sports clubs, and provided first aid training for over 4000 school children.
Shaun and Darran have hosted a number of events including football matches with the emergency services, fetes and coffee mornings raising over £35,000. The money has enabled the installation of 35 defibrillators at local sports clubs providingvital life-saving equipment.
Shaun and Darran have inspired others to volunteer and support their drive to provide first aid training at schools across Sussex. They have also funded football coaches with FA or UEFA badges to work with children with special needs in three schools. These children would usually miss out on the opportunity to play football in clubs as coaches are not normally trained to support the needs of children with special needs. The children have benefitted from being able to engage in teamwork and have learnt leadership skills.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Shaun and Darran have both made a remarkable commitment to raising awareness of the importance of organ donation in their son’s memory. The courage they have shown in using their son Connor’s story to educate young people about the tragic consequences of violence is truly inspiring. I am pleased to name them Points of Light for their tireless work.”
Shaun and Darran said:
“We are humbled and overwhelmed by receiving this award. Without the continuous hard work and commitment from our daughter Courtney who not only efficiently organises us and The Connor Saunders Foundation we would not be able to accept this very prestigious award, to continue Connors work. We accept this on behalf of Connor family and friends who since losing Connor has made it out and their mission to make a difference as Connor did, his life made this possible and his passing makes it a necessary. As his parents we will always remember the life he lead. Immortality is first living a life worth remembering and Connor has done this. Good has to come from bad. We should also say as a family we would rather teach the next generation to save lives with their hands than take lives through one punch.
Blessings Darran and Shaun Saunders 5 is alive”