Dying for a Cause

Just over a week ago we heard the tragic news of 30-year old Claire Squires who collapsed and died running the London Marathon in an effort to raise money for her chosen Charity, the Samaritans. In just over week the amount of money raised in aid of Claire’s charity has topped £1 million and counting, surpassing her intended goal of just £500 more than 2000 times over. 

Running a marathon is said to be one of the most physically demanding challenges one can exert upon the human body and the last few miles are a real test of endurance and staying power. Claire’s determination to complete the course she had embarked and meet her goal,  meant she was willing to give it all that she had and ultimately this led to her sad and untimely death.

Life is much like running a marathon and living a full and purpose filled life is about having the ambition, courage and staying power that this young lady has and because of her efforts and commitments to this cause, her legacy will live on helping many people through the work of the Samaritans Charity.

Much like Claire, 16-year old Chanel Lee Easy went to sleep on 2nd October 2011 at the pinnacle of her own life long marathon. Her ambitions and dreams were to build confidence, self-esteem and creativity within her peers, children and young people to help them reach their full potential. Chanel left a legacy of proposals and plans for her initiatives, including fundraising and through this foundation these dreams and ambitions will be realised.

Claire and Chanel never knew that their time would come to an end so soon, but the both clearly knew what they were living for. It is now up to us to take the baton drawing strength from their inspirational lives.

Our condolenses go out to the family and friends of Claire Squires.


What is Yellow Smile Day?


‘A smile can make a difference – ‘On it like a car bonnet’

The Chanel Lee Smile Foundation would like to celebrate the forthcoming birthday of the late Chanel Lee Easy on the 22nd May 2012 by drawing reference to her life, her artistic talent and exploring her dreams. This day will be called ‘Yellow Smile Day’

Yellow Smile Day will also focus on the promotion of local talent and creativity in local schools and in the community. The foundation will look at building awareness on how arts can be used to develop confidence and self-esteem. The proposed plans for this event will take place on Chanel-Lee’s birthday each year to commemorate Chanel-lee’s vision. We want to shape the profile of arts across the West Midlands and raise awareness as part of the political agenda.

This year, The Chanel Lee Smile Foundation will be working with nominated schools and local churches to promote this cause, however we would like to invite members of the community or if you are part of a school/college and wish to participate or wish to make a contribution in aid of ‘Yellow Smile Day’ to liaise with your school/local churches and email the Chanel Lee Smile Foundation with your ideas.  The email address is displayed below.




Knowing Chanel Lee

Music was one of Chanel's many passions

I had seen Chanel on various occasions with other youth that I had the pleasure of working with, initially to me Chanel seemed a quiet shy sort of girl, in October 2009 I delivered a music workshop called “Sistagurl” Chanel was one of my students, that is when I got to know her a little better.   Chanel was not the shy quiet girl I had thought but a deep thinking, fun, lively person who would say what she thought (sometimes without even fully processing it before saying it) I found that really funny, Chanel  was real and I liked that about her I don’t think she even realised how comical she was by just being herself.

Chanel had a passion to sing and flourished whenever she sang, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet and engage with Chanel as she taught me something also which was “don’t take life so seriously, chill out sometimes and just laugh”.  A bright beautiful flower that shall always be remembered by me, thank you Chanel for your joy and laughter, thank you Deborah and Glen for allowing your daughter to be a part of my life for that time. 

Tee – Youth & Music Project Facilitator 

Introducing Yellow Smile Day

Hey everyone. We’ve been quiet for a while but not for a lack of activity, we have been busy working on plans for the development of the Chanel Lee Smile Foundation and we can now formally introduce to you our first date for your diaries – Yellow Smile Day. This will be a day set up to commemorate Chanel Lee’s life through a series of events taking place at different participating schools across the West Midland’s Region. On Tuesday May 22nd 2012 which was Chanel’s birthday. Check out our trailer below produced by Aaliyah-Jay Allen one of our volunteers. Enjoy and stay tuned for more information.