Curious to know what it takes to win? Meet everyone who has...
Young Fundraiser of 2017
Imagine having more operations than birthdays. Brooke doesn’t have to. She’s been a patient at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) from her first day on earth. By her 16th year, she rebelled without thinking of pain, safety or doctors’ orders to not exercise. First, power-walking the Manchester 10k with her surgeon Mr Bruce, when she was two days over the minimum age limit, then encouraging everyone to take on her Forbidden Mile.
A year later, the teen marched 6.2 miles with tuba-playing friends from her brass band and 70 supporters, all wearing green t-shirts – Brooke’s Barmy Army filled her city with song and her hospital with hope. She raised a staggering £17,534 for RMCH.
Creative Fundraiser of the Year
Could your family photo album make £43,000? Chris’ did – for Young Minds Trust. Between a Scottish Gaelic poem and an ancient Celtic payer, 54 black and white photos alternate from a shot of his son enjoying boyhood on a beach in Kent to an image of the Outer Hebrides, wild and empty, taken soon after Joe lost his life to anxiety and depression age 16.
Seen 1.2 million times online, Chris’ photo collection raised phenomenal awareness for men’s mental health and a fortune for Young Minds Trust who support vulnerable young people through life’s difficulties. You won’t see more powerful or emotional art from this professional, with other photos in London’s South Bank Centre, Rolling Stone Magazine and The Times. Or a more creative fundraiser in 2017.
Life Changer of 2017
Safe centres offering holistic and restorative care, a website explaining what an abusive relationship feels like and where to look for help, quick and anonymous support – all would’ve helped Esther when she fled her 8 year relationship with a drink and drug-addicted ex-partner. All now available to all through her new charity sTandTall. Esther did ToughMudder for £980 in 2016, then raised a further £4,230 to launch her charity in 2017 – making sure more women and girls escape abusive or violent partners as soon as possible.
You might expect nothing less than excellence from a young leader, chosen to go to the One Young World summit above thousands of hopefuls, in 2014. But facing her past and empowering us all to feel safer and to sTandTall takes award-winning courage.
Crowdfunder of 2017
One day, the male suicide rate will half and Luke will be one you’ll thank. He walked 194 miles from Shay Stadium in Halifax, Yorkshire, to London’s Houses of Parliament, arriving in time for World Mental Health Day. Supported by celebs like Ricky Gervais, not only did Luke raise awareness for Samaritans and Calm Zone, but the £2,398 needed to open an Andy’s Man Club in as many UK towns and cities as possible, with the ultimate goal of launching one near you, wherever you are in the country.
Luke set up the first Andy’s Man Club in his hometown, offering the men of Halifax a free support group to share mental health worries without judgement or feeling like a burden –hopefully saving families the agony of losing a male loved one to suicide, the biggest killer of men under 45. Luke’s brother-in-law was a new dad and semi-professional rugby player for Halifax RLFC who took his life without warning age 23. Andy didn’t die in vain. Luke’s doing him (and all of us) proud every day, saving lives and winning this award in his honour.
Celebrity Fundraiser of 2017
Football fans know him as the presenter of Sky Sports’ Soccer Sunday, but did you know? Prostate Cancer UK were delighted when £700,000 came their way, thanks to Jeff, whose latest fundraiser saw him walk 15 marathons in 15 days. Famous or not, few 62 year olds could set off on foot on this epic 400 mile journey up the length of England – from Exeter City’s St James Park in Devon through 38 more football clubs and beyond to Newcastle United’s St James’ Park in Northumberland.
Jeff’s inspired 650 football managers and fans, sports stars and pundits to join him – using their combined fame and enthusiasm to spread awareness of men’s most common cancer and encouraging blokes to get checked. All helped Jeff raise his fortune for better diagnosis and treatment. For a cure. For all men.
Special Recognition of 2017
Sick children now have a real hope of getting life-saving treatments, unavailable in the UK or from the NHS, thanks to this 6 year old boy and his parents. Gemma and Carl set up the Bradley Lowery Foundation in his memory to support, advise and encourage families fundraising for healthcare. And you should know, they raised £700,000 and took Bradley to New York for antibody treatment on his stage 4 neuroblastoma – rare cancer of the nervous system, which he beat but it returned, terminal.
Bradley also earned this award in his own right. Famously smiley, he raised awareness of childhood cancers and united and inspired other children, celebrities and all who met him – from England football manager Gareth Southgate to Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker. Fans from rival football clubs sung his name at matches and sent him 315,000 Christmas cards. Sunderland AFC striker Jermain Defoe considered Bradley his best friend and club mascot. Meanwhile, Everton pledged £200,000 to his fundraising and his charity song Smile For Bradley reached number 28 in the Singles chart. Few could achieve as much as Bradley in six short years - or perhaps a lifetime.
Vicki & James Woodall
Outstanding Commitment of 2017
One family turbo-charged childhood cancer research at The Royal Marsden Hospital during their toughest time. Parents Vicki and James pledged £1million to the paediatric oncology team soon after they were told the lump on their four year old’s back was soft tissue Ewing’s Sarcoma. Cancer. As well as taking George for 14 rounds of chemo, 30 rounds of American proton therapy and 10 hour surgery to remove part of his spine and three muscles from his back, the Woodall’s set up George and the Giant Pledge to stop more families suffering. To stop more youngsters losing their childhood – or their lives.
Within two weeks, they got £100,000 closer to their target – donations came from 26 countries, making their fundraiser JustGiving’s fastest growing international donation page. George and the Giant Pledge released a charity single, inspired hundreds more fundraisers and sold blue superhero capes – everyone from Princess Charlotte and Prince George to Andy Murray and Judi Dench got one, sponsored walkers and fundraising school children too. Thankfully, George became cancer-free in December 2017, yet his family continue to push for the £1million pledge so more families get a positive end to their nightmare.