Hospice supporters applauded at annual awards party

A nine-year-old girl who chopped off her long locks for sponsorship, a trio of friends who drove a banger across Europe and a son who trekked 850km in memory of his mother – all amazing fundraisers who were commended at this year’s John Taylor Hospice Supporter Awards.

The special thank you party and awards ceremony takes place each December and celebrates the outstanding achievements of individuals and local organisations who have raised money for the charity over the past year.

Six winners, chosen from a shortlist of 25, were announced on 2 December and presented with their awards by hospice CEO Penny Venables.

Penny said: “This shortlist really showcases the incredible acts of kindness and generosity that John Taylor Hospice supporters carry out every single day. Our supporters are very special and this evening is all about them – celebrating their achievements, hearing their stories and saying thank you for everything they do.

“Congratulations to our winners and finalists and our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has fundraised, donated or supported us in any way this year. Together you have raised over £730,000 which is helping us to reach more people and ensure vital hospice care and support services are available for families when and where they need them.”

And the winners are…  

Creative Fundraiser Award

Winner: Bob Parker

Finalists: Gymophobics, Rachael Everton and Matt Nicholls

Bob, Stefan and Hamish with Sadie the Mercedes!

This year Bob, along with his brother Stefan and friend Hamish, took part in The Banger Rally – driving from Oxford to Venice over five days to raise money for in memory of Bob’s friend and colleague Andrew Blackburn. The challenge raised almost £750 for our hospice and we are so very grateful to Bob – our Creative Fundraiser of the Year.

Runner of the Year Award

Winner: Jamie Hawkswood

Finalists: Shirley Dauncey, Karl Foster, Andy Berry and David Watts

Jamie Hawkswood with his Marathon de Paris medal

Jamie travelled hundreds of miles to take on a marathon fundraising challenge for John Taylor Hospice – by running 26.2 miles in the Paris Marathon. Along with his Woodman Pub colleagues Will and Bekah, his friend Dave and brother Gareth, Jamie also braved challenging obstacles, tackled tough woodland runs and waded through mud pits at this autumn’s Warwickshire Wolf Run! And, if that wasn’t enough, after thirteen attempts Jamie has finally secured his place in the 2020 London Marathon. Huge congratulations to our Runner of the Year – Jamie Hawkswood.

Corporate Supporter Award

Winner: Gymophobics   

Finalists: Genfab, Connect Distribution Services and DHL Tradeteam   

Gymophobics have gone the extra mile for John Taylor Hospice this year. They have supported us in so many ways – offering health support and advice to hospice staff, raising £900 in the £50 Challenge and being amazing models in our recent Big Brummie Bake photoshoot. Thank you Gymophobics for your positivity, commitment and friendship and we look forward to working with you more in 2020.

Young Fundraiser Award

Winner: Jenaya McKenzie

Finalists: Marsh Hill Primary School, Sam Smith and Paige Woodcock

Nine-year-old Jenaya had her long plaits cut off to thank John Taylor Hospice for caring for her great aunt Geraldine and her grandmother Eileen – raising an incredible £3,000. We are very proud of Jenaya for such a fantastic achievement. Well done – you are our Young Fundraiser of the Year!

Community Partnership Award

Winner: Great Barr Conservative Club

Finalists: Wylde Green Inner Wheel, Hollyfields Centre and WW Wellness Workshops with Amanda Tipper

Since choosing John Taylor Hospice as their Charity of the Year in 2018, Great Barr Conservative Club have thrown themselves into fundraising for us! Whether they’ve been Big Brummie Baking, holding themed discos or organising special Q&As with Aston Villa Manager Dean Smith – every member of the committee and the club have gone above and beyond to raise vital funds and are so deserving of this award. We are so grateful to be their chosen charity again this year and look forward to continuing our special partnership.

Hospice Champion Award

Winner: Roger Cross

Finalists: Michelle Denny and Marie Wilkes, Brenda’s Brigade and Ken Spencer

Roger is a long-term hospice fundraiser who has gone above and beyond to support John Taylor teams and local families. In memory of his mother Beryl, and to mark the year of his 60th birthday, this year Roger has undertaken a fundraising feat – by taking on every event in the Ultra Challenge calendar! Kicking off with the Isle of Wight Challenge in May, Roger has since completed an eye-watering eight 100km hikes and one 50km challenge. We are so very thankful to Roger and are delighted to crown him this year’s Hospice Champion.

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What our patients think

“I’d have really struggled without them”

“They’ve been ever so good to me and that’s why I wanted to fundraise and do something to help just like they’ve helped me.”

Philomena Sharpe

“The impact they had will never be forgotten”

“The community nurses were so helpful and they’re lovely people. They put my mind at rest and it’s such a comfort to know you’re not on your own.”

Jackie Day

“An angel sent into my life”

“I can’t thank Angie (patient and family support worker) enough for everything she’s done for us. She’s so reliable and professional – a wonderful person. She took away all these worries and was there for me in my time of need.”

Patricia Smith-Evans

“I’ve really enjoyed it”

“The FAB Programme has helped me to get fitter and my walking is better. Everyone is really nice at the hospice, they’re friendly and they’re good company. I’d recommend it to anyone who is in a similar situation to me.”

Don Bell

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