Curious to know what it takes to win? Meet everyone who has...
Simon ‘Mac’ McDermott
Creative Fundraiser fo the Year 2016
Like singing in your car? Simon and his dad, Ted duetted to some absolute classics while cruising through Blackburn – and you watched their videos over 40 million times. Born entertainers, they raised £131,689 for The Alzheimer’s Society which paid for your calls to be answered by the National Dementia Helpline, who listened to Simon sob for 10 minutes in 2013 and convinced him he really could care for his dad, without him going into a care home.
Remarkably, for a man who struggled to recognise his own son, Ted belted out word-perfect renditions – lyrics he'd perfected in pubs and clubs as a Butlin’s Redcoat singer in the 60s and 70s. Ted’s your #SongAMinute man and he brought the internet so much joy that he landed a record deal. Without Simon’s fundraising page, Ted wouldn’t have recorded his new single at Abbey Road Studios or given 25% of the profits from his song, 'You Make Me Feel So Young', to The Alzheimer’s Society. Take a bow.
Young Fundraiser of the Year 2016
Two buckets of sparkling clean water with lids on, ready to send to Africa, from all your schoolmates and family – no presents. Sound like what you wanted for your 5th birthday? Of course not. You hadn’t watched WaterAid’s TV advert, showing children like you, drinking dirty brown water. And you’re not Lyla, ready and willing to care. With some help from her mum, Lyla set up her fundraising page age 4 – and soon enough, she took it to the top 3% of successful JustGiving pages in December 2015.
The birthday girl raised £2,007 and sacrificed up to 91 birthday presents from supporters who’d have probably splashed out on her. And that’s not all. Because the UK Government doubled her total and Seven Trent Water pledged £1,500 to WaterAid, Lyla technically raised over a thousand pounds for each year she’s lived. Few adults have done as much for charity. And fewer youngsters would think of the bigger picture like this and want to help other boys and girls they’ll never meet, living across the globe.
Life Changer Award 2016
Army veteran Mark is off the streets after 12 years homeless, and millions of us were reminded not to look down on others in his situation, when Nicole shared her life-changing story and fundraised £13,143 to thank him – the man she wouldn’t have looked at, had he asked her for change, before she was stranded in London. Locked outside Euston station with a dying phone at 3am, 21 year old Nicole missed her last train home to Milton Keynes and lost her colleague on a night out, leaving her alone and vulnerable. Till Mark showed up.
The father of three, with a daughter himself, got Nicole settled with breakfast at an all-night café she’d never have found on her own and left her in safety while he collected his sleeping bag. By 5am, he’d caught the bus and rushed to help her onto the first train home. By 9am, he’d called her and made sure she was awake, ready for work. Too few of us expect homeless women or men like Mark to be so kind, but 1,089 of you wanted to celebrate him (and Nicole’s birthday) by donating 10 times her original target as thanks.
Emmy and Jake
Fundraising Team of the Year 2016
Newly married, this husband and wife team cycled 2,000km on a tandem they’d nicknamed Tara, after the specialist nurse who cared for Emmy at The Royal Marsden Hospital. Tied to their trailer named Tyrone, Emmy and Jake’s cycling challenge took them from London to Copenhagen, through Bruges and Amsterdam, on the North Sea Cycle Route. Within just eight months of fundraising, they’d smashed their £100,000 target for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and taught more of us about rare cancers in young people.
Emmy was diagnosed with incurable thyroid cancer and given a 20% chance of living five years on the day she and Jake were due to fly to the Philippines, where he’d planned to propose, six months after they’d got back together. Their love story started age 13 when Jake called her his “lobster,” before they dated age 16 and reunited a decade later, FaceTiming daily – Jake a doctor in Australia, Emmy teaching in a London primary school. Unsurprisingly, the two inspired thousands more fundraisers to run marathons, sell cakes, host charity concerts and climb mountains – taking their total up to £157,506.
Paypal Crowdfunder of the Year 2016
It's hard to imagine what kind of a person would rob a quadriplegic student who relies on a ventilator. Burglars broke into Derry’s home, leaving him utterly devastated. His friend, Adam united 146 football fans, raising the £2,505 Derry needed to replace his portable hard drives, his carer’s car keys, three games consoles and laptop. He could replace everything but his coursework and scripts for his Film, Television and Media Production degree at the University of Nottingham.
One of Northampton Town FC’s biggest fans, the legend who famously staged a one-man pitch invasion on his motorised wheelchair, Derry got a meet and greet with his favourite players thanks to Adam’s crowdfunding page. And before their game against York City, the footballers even had a whip around with their Chairman to help Adam and Derry reach their target.
Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year 2016
Catwalks? Not anymore. This supermodel cycled 567 miles, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and completed three more #ChallengeKiddo fundraisers all over the world with wounded, injured and sick veterans. Jodie raised £71,117 for Help For Heroes’ Rebuilding Lives Campaign and Hidden Wounds mental health programme, helping ex-soldiers, veterans and military families manage anxiety and depression with proper psychological support. Because too many are lost to suicide.
Jodie was fraught with severe anxiety in her twenties, which affected her self-esteem, and caused panic attacks and palpitations before fashion shows – three years into her career, she's using her personal experience to help others - and it's nothing short of inspirational.
International Animal Rescue
Charity of the Year 2016
Java got the largest sanctuary for slow loris on the planet, India ended its 400 year trade of dancing bears, West Borneo opened its first rescue centre for critically endangered orangutans, Malta created stronger protections for migrating birds, developing countries everywhere vaccinated more stray cats and dogs in 2016 – all thanks to International Animal Rescue. And this is only the beginning.
Animal lovers will be relieved to hear how fewer creatures are suffering in the UK, with this incredible charity fighting to stop up to 1 million species going extinct. And when animals can’t fend for themselves? International Animal Rescue promise to care for vulnerable animals for as long as they live. And it’s never been more important to celebrate charities like this who’ve stepped up to save our world in danger.
Endurance Fundraiser of 2016
Bristol Children’s Hospital got three new ventilators and more high-tech equipment for their ambulance, which rushes critically ill children to intensive care, thanks to Natalia. Who raised £95,439 in memory of her adventure-seeking, animal-loving five year old. Elizabeth died suddenly when a one-in-a-million virus had a rare effect on her immune system. She inspired Natalie to trek 20 miles a day for her. Every day. For a year.
Her 'Walk Of Love' challenege started on Valentine’s Day at in Dorset, the last beach she and Elizabeth enjoyed together – Natalia trekked 6,000 miles, clockwise, along mainland Britain’s entire coastline. You invited her into 100 homes and B&Bs, fed and watered her. Sometimes walked with her. Natalia dined with 20 kind strangers in Wales, who gave her new walking boots, and celebrated Elizabeth’s 6th birthday with locals in Abersoch. All of us were in awe of how she turned extreme sadness into an extreme challenge and helped stop more mums and dads experiencing pain and sadness like hers.
Special Recognition Award 2016
From singing and playing keyboard on indie pop records to smashing Sarcoma UK’s fundraising records – Carey raised more money and awareness for osteosarcoma than any before her which helped improve treatments for the first time in 30 years. With the rare cancer in her leg, she toured the world and put on shows with Camera Obscura, until she was forced to cancel gigs in Mexico and California and stay in hospital. Famously glamourous in her trademark vintage style, she packed eight lipsticks and gave doctors a challenge when she painted her toe nails after an operation, which made it tricky to check her circulation.
Celebs like Zooey Deschanel, Dermott O’Leary and fans by their thousands donated from 50 countries so fast, Carey had to double her target. Twice. Within days, she smashed her original goal. Reached £15,000 within eight. And ultimately, gave £130,000 or more to Sarcoma UK, who she believed will give teens and the young, like her, the best chance of beating bone cancer. Her huge achievement is testament to how much joy she brought us all with her music, fundraising and general thoughtfulness. What an unforgettable woman Carey was.
Outstanding Commitment 2016
No mum or dad in Wales will be left to struggle through the sudden death of their child. They can mourn in peace in a private family room at Prince Charles Hospital or Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Create keepsakes to remember their son or daughter with a hand and footprint set in a bereavement box. They can feel less isolated at counselling sessions everywhere in Wales. In 2016, the charity Rhian set up - 2 Wish Upon A Star helped 122 grieving relatives.
She raised £400,000 after her and her husband were so traumatised by the lack of support they recieved. Paul suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and took his own life – one year old George suddenly collapsed from Bronchial Pneumonia five days before and never came home from hospital. With 2 With Upon A Star, Rhian’s on her mission to get a bereavement suite at every A&E in South Wales. And to help families talk with hospital staff and police, days and weeks after their tragedy, to better understand what’s happening.