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Media captionShane Yerrell: The crowdfunding superhero who raises money for strangers

The meteoric rise of crowdfunding has revolutionised how easy it is to help out those in need. Often fundraising is done by pals or house, but an increase in people are setting up sheets for complete strangers whose narratives tug at their heartstrings. So how do you go about changing the life of someone you’ve never filled?

Shane Yerrell is a man on a mission. The prey of a knife strike ten years ago, he decided to turn his hand to facilitating others, and has raised more than 20,000 for a number of causes since 2011.

He has climbed a mountain, shaved his head, moved from London to Brighton – and he has put in crowdfunding sheets for people who he does not know, and might never meet.

“If I won the raffle, I’d be the first millionaire to become skint, ” said Mr Yerrell, 33, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, who works with adults who have memorizing disabilities.

“When I speak storeys in the news, I get a bit more affected by them than most people do. I get really bothered to the level where I want to make a stand and help them there and then.

“You don’t have to know someone to want to help them.”

Image copyright Alex Wilkes Image caption Shane Yerrell decided to help Liam Bradshaw after hearing about the car disintegrate he was involved in

One of the people Mr Yerrell has crowdfunded for is 21-year-old Liam Bradshaw, from Enfield, who was involved in a disastrous gondola gate-crash in which his three acquaintances died in 2012.

“I was left with 17 ruptures to the look, broken collarbones, a nose job and a titanium forehead. I was in hospital for eight and a half months, ” Mr Bradshaw recalls.

When Mr Yerrell heard in the news about what had happened, he approached Mr Bradshaw’s family and asked if he could help to raise money for his recuperation, through a fundraising page and by climbing Mount Toubkal in Morocco.

“Shane came along towards the end of my hospital life. The person has the kindest centre – he went out of his space to help a stranger so that stranger live their lives their own lives again, ” Mr Bradshaw said.

“I’m so glad it happened, because if I hadn’t had the incident, I wouldn’t “ve met” someone with such a good middle, ” he added.

“From what Shane did for me, I’ve then come out of hospital to go and manager disabled children for Tottenham Hotspur.

“We’ve led beyond still friends – he’s more like family.”

Image caption Liam Bradshaw said he had been inspired by the actions of a stranger – Shane Yerrell – who had raised money for him after his accident

Giving back

Image copyright Bridey Watson Image caption Bridey Watson set up a crowdfunding sheet to facilitate a terminated stranger after coin was developed to help her through her illness

Bridey Watson, 35, from Bristol, was on the receiving point of crowdfunding only a few years ago, after contracting babesiosis, a malaria-like parasitic sicknes developed from a tick bite.

“I was bunked and wheelchair-bound, having seizures every day, ” she recalls.

“When medical doctors lastly worked out “whats wrong”, my friends and family set up a crowdfunding sheet for me to go to Germany and the US for management, where tick-borne illness are better understood and treated.

“The crowdfunding other people did for me enabled me to regain my health and rebuild my life.”

Ms Watson is still regaining from the effects of babesiosis, but was induced to assist someone else in need following her own experience.

She said she was shocked by an assault on 17 -year-old asylum seeker Kurdish-Iranian Reker Ahmed, who was chased and subjected to a “brutal attack” in Croydon at the end of March.

“He’s ultimately guessing he’s reached a neighbourhood of sanctuary, exclusively to be attacked – I could paint the terribleness of what he’d “ve been through”, ” she said.

“From my working experience, I knew the letters people left were as important as the physical health money can bring. And that’s what I wanted to do for the guy who was attacked.”

Image copyright JustGiving Image caption Ms Waton’s page to help an attacked asylum seeker smashed its target

The psychology behind setting up a crowdfunding page for a stranger can be split into three categories, adds philanthropic psychologist Jen Shang.

“Typically, beings facilitate strangers to see themselves feel good, to oblige others feel good, or both, ” she said.

“Some beings don’t want to get up close and personal with the people they help – they want to keep it all at arm’s period and have a simple, easy and warm space of helping.

“Others prefer to have direct contact with the person or persons they’re helping, and crowdfunding sites offer a canal where that sort of linkage is possible.”

Ms Shang, who works as research director at the University of Plymouth’s Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, answered although the percentage of people donating fund to donation or other causes “has not changed in the UK or the US for decades, ” new methods of holding were constantly being invented, with crowdfunding “the new kid on the block”.

“For people like Mr Yerrell, crowdfunding might be the most ‘sustainable’ way of rendering – the way that sustains the knowledge and experiencing you’re attending about others.

“Psychologists mention as long as you’re a human, you want to care about others.”


Top tips for crowdfunding for strangers

JustGiving, the UK’s first online fundraising pulpit, remarks more than 191,000 pages are made each year GoFundMe, another of greater crowdfunding places, was created in 2010 and has also already raised more than$ 3bn( 2.34 bn) worldwide. If you want to set up a crowdfunding sheet for someone you have never met, the most important section of advice is to ask the person in question if they approve of what the hell are you want to do. JustGiving and GoFundMe reply refunds will be made if the person or persons implied does not want to accept the donations. “These actions are very rare but if they happen, we would work with awareness-raising campaigns organiser and the intended recipient to become involved in a solution – for example donating the money to a benevolence or refunding donors, ” answered John Coventry, heads of state of UK communications at GoFundMe. “Ultimately, people are genu. They see something in the news that moves them and they want to help – that’s why GoFundMe subsists: as a tool that helps people to facilitate others. Explain how the funds will reach the recipient, articulates the director of PR for JustGiving, Rhys Goode. “If this changes in any way, we were able to admonish page owners to update their sheet accordingly.” Image caption The Parker family – Harry, Glen, Danielle and Mia – have known the kindness of strangers

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