Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe appoints first UK representative

New head of UK communications John Coventry, who will be based in London, joins from the campaign platform

The US-based social fundraising platform GoFundMe has appointed its first UK-based employee as part of efforts to expand its user base in Europe.

John Coventry joined the crowdfunding website this week as head of UK communications. He comes from the campaign platform, where he was director of global communications.

Coventry is the first hire outside the US for the San Diego-based organisation, whose website has already been used to raise more than £57m in the UK and £2.5bn worldwide since it was launched in 2010.

This includes funds for the disabled pensioner Alan Barnes after he was attacked and to collect donations to start a foundation in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox.

An announcement from GoFundMe, which is also hiring people in France and Spain, said Coventry, who will be based in London, would be joined in the UK by its media director Kelsea Little, who will move over on a temporary basis this year.

Coventry said in a statement that GoFundMe was changing the way people raised and gave money.

"The power of the internet to give everyone the tools to stand up for the issues they care about is one of the defining stories of our times," he said.

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