Action for Kids sacks London Marathon 'giant snail' fundraiser

Lloyd Scott dismissed over losses incurred by the stunt

Lloyd Scott
Lloyd Scott

Lloyd Scott, the fundraiser who completed this year’s London Marathon face down in a giant snail costume, has been sacked by the charity Action for Kids because the venture made a loss.

Scott, who was director of fundraising at the charity, crawled a mile per day around the 26.2-mile course in a costume of Brian the snail from the children’s television programme The Magic Roundabout.

He had hoped to raise £200,000 for the charity, but so far has raised about £20,000. Scott had been at the charity for 10 months at the time of being dismissed, and was four months into a second six-month contract.

Scott, who attracted media attention in completing the snail challenge, is well-known for previous marathon fundraising exploits, including completing the course in a deep-sea diving costume and dressed as St George towing a replica dragon.

Sally Bishop, founder of Action for Kids, confirmed the board of trustees had asked Scott to leave the charity. She declined to give figures or expand on a short statement.

"He was given notice according to his contract with us, due to losses incurred in his latest marathon," the statement said. "Due to limited resources, like all charities Action for Kids must make sure that we make the best possible use of our limited funds.

"Our priority is always to our donors, and the children and families we support. So it is with regret we had to take this decision."

Scott told Third Sector he was surprised and disappointed at the timing of the charity’s decision.

He accepted that the costs had not been covered by income at the time he was sacked, but because the decision was made only 11 days after he completed the race, he did not feel enough time had been given for him to complete his fundraising.

"I hadn’t even recovered from the event," he said. "The job hadn’t finished at the end of the marathon. I’m upset that I will not be there to maximise a number of further opportunities that have come up since it finished."

He said he had been in the process of organising a number of spin-off fundraising events for the charity, such as a corporate snail race. He added that he would continue to fundraise for the charity, regardless of what had happened.

Scott could not confirm all of the costs involved in undertaking the challenge, but said PR for the event had cost the charity £7,500. He said a corporate partner had covered the costs of the snail outfit, which cost £16,000.

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