Charlie’s Angels near £10k target in just two days for ‘amazing’ Sidmouth woman

Charlie Gwillim at Devon Embroidary in Sidmouth. Ref edr 15 18TI 1135. Picture: Terry Ife

Charlie Gwillim at Devon Embroidary in Sidmouth. Ref edr 15 18TI 1135. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Cash donations to support a popular Sidmouth businesswoman, after she was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, were on the brink of hitting a £10,000 target in just two days.

Friends have been left overwhelmed by the Sid Valley community which has rallied to raise money for Charlie Gwillim and her fiancé, Rob Jackson.

In February, the 27-year-old had been suffering the effects of migraines and visited the doctors and hospital.

Following an eye test, an optician found an abnormality behind her eye leading to doctors finding a cancerous tumour in the front of her brain.

She underwent treatment in Plymouth to remove the tumour.

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To support the couple, friends will run the Tipton 10km in July under the banner Charlie’s Angels.

Ben Rix, who started the Go Fund Me page on Tuesday said it has seen amazing support to help ease pressure on the couple who have had to give up work.

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He said: “We grew up together. We went to all the Sidmouth schools.

“In February, I think all of our worlds crumbled, it just hit us so hard because she is an amazing human being.

“Our group is so close. When she went in for surgery, it was one of the longest nights for all of us and she came out and she is still smiling. It has been such a massive reaction.

“Charlie is one of the strongest women I have ever met. I feel privileged to be her friend and would do anything for this amazing, crazy, intelligent young lady.

“Charlie jumps at the opportunity to help a friend out, no matter how big or small. She lights up the room with only her presence and sees the best in anyone or anything. Charlie is an angel, a legend and one of a kind.

“I won’t be upping the target any more. It’s a massive amount of money and its going to have a real positive impact for them. They are such positive people.

“I do not want to talk on their behalf but we can already see how much of a difference it has had. It’s the best gift.”

Charlie opened Devon Embroidery in late 2017, following in the footsteps of her tailor grandfather to run a shop in the town – taking to the business like a ‘duck to water’.

As the Herald went to press on Thursday morning the fundraiser has smashed the £9,000 mark.

Mr Rix said: “They now plan to make the absolute most of every day to come, however long that may be.

“I sat with Charlie and Rob, both smiling and laughing wanting to talk about anything positive going on in my life. When I asked the difficult question: ‘Are you both doing okay for money?’. ‘It’s not about the money,’ she said, ‘I’m just devastated that my business has to close.’. Since learning the awful news, Charlie has made no mention of needing extra help. She asked for no special treatment.

“I couldn’t believe how selfless they could be even in the current situation they are in.

“Rob is now acting as Charlie’s full time carer, setting several alarms a night to provide Charlie with the right medication and care.

“This means at the moment they have to rely on support from family but of course the outgoings keep coming, household bills, shop rental, embroidery equipment hire and general living costs.

“We know there are so many families that go through this every day. The daily struggle of fighting cancer and trying to live a normal life. If we’re willing to give money to any people in need, surely those most deserving are the people that don’t ask for it. Donations of any amount will help make Charlie’s time as comfortable as possible.”

She is in the process of selling the shop and is supported by Rob who has given up work to become her full time carer.

The couple recently got engaged after Rob proposed to his girlfriend of seven years at home after they had to cancel their trip to Rome.

Rob will also be joining Elizabeth Colson, Daniel Colson, Jessica Morris, Ryan Davies, Ben Gibbs, Ella Robinson, Ben Salter, Faye Chinery Ben and Ben’s dad Tim Swarbrick on the Tipton run on July 13.

Visit to donate to the page.

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