Taking the plinth for charity

Square deal: Liz Mendes

Square deal: Liz Mendes

A London teacher is using her hour on Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square to raise money for a charity launched in memory of a young Jewish leukaemia sufferer.

During her time on the plinth next Wednesday, Liz Mendes will release balloons sponsored by viewers of her donation website.

There will be a prize for the sponsor of the balloon found to have travelled the farthest. Money raised will go to the Karen Morris Memorial Trust, providing facilities for leukaemia patients and their families. Karen Morris was a student who died at 23 from chronic myeloid leukaemia in 1998.

Ms Mendes, who teaches French, said that taking her place on the plinth was “a really exciting opportunity. It’s got a worldwide following and it’s amazing to be involved with something so special.”

The 35-year-old had been encouraged to support the trust by her rabbi, Malcolm Cohen of the West London Synagogue. “I think it’s important to keep working for leukaemia in Karen’s name. My hour on the plinth won’t just raise money for the charity but awareness too.”

Welcoming the gesture, Karen’s mother Sylvia, who runs the trust, said: “Liz has taken the initiative to do this in an original way and who knows who will hear about our trust now? This is particularly significant because it comes at the end of our 10th anniversary year.”

If you would like to take part in Liz's balloon race go to www.justgiving.co.uk/balloon-race

Last updated: 11:11am, August 17 2009