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JustGiving Award Winners 2017 Announced

JustGiving Award Winners 2017 Announced
23 November 2017 admin_rooster

Football presenter Jeff Stelling and the family of Bradley Lowery have been announced among the winners for their fundraising efforts at the eighth annual JustGiving awards.

The JustGiving awards took place on Tuesday 21st November 2017 at The Brewery, London, showcasing the many people who have used JustGiving to fundraise for good causes this year.

The nine award winners were:

  • Luke Ambler (PayPal Crowdfunder of the Year), from Halifax
  • Esther Marshall (The JustGiving Life Changer Award), from London
  • Brooke Taylor (Young Fundraiser of the Year, presented by Denise Van Outen), from Bolton
  • Jeff Stelling (Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year)
  • Chris Pickhaver (Creative Fundraiser of the Year)
  • Gary McKee (Endurance Fundraiser of the Year), from Cumbria
  • Alzheimer’s Society (Charity of the Year)
  • Vicki Woodall / Games and the Giant Pledge (The Outstanding Commitment Award), from Surrey
  • Bradley Lowery (Special Recognition Award)

A posthumous Special Recognition Award was presented to the family of six-year-old Bradley Lowery, who died in July following a long illness with neuroblastoma – a rare type of cancer. Bradley was a fan of Sunderland FC and went on to be the club’s mascot and became best friends with his hero, striker Jermain Defoe. Well-wishers raised more than £700,000 through JustGiving to pay for him to be given antibody treatment in New York, but medics then found his cancer had grown and his family was informed his illness was terminal.

Throughout the year men, women and children of all ages have gone above and beyond to raise money for good causes. From charity fundraising to setting up awareness campaigns and supporting families facing illness or bereavement, people have shown incredible commitment to making a positive impact in 2017.

JustGiving received a record 72,000 nominations this year – from a man crawling the London Marathon dressed as a Gorilla to a 10-year-old victim of the Manchester Arena attack raising funds for the British Red Cross.

Rhys Goode, spokesperson for JustGiving, said: “This year we’ve broken all our previous records for both nominations and votes for the finalists. From 72,000 nominations, we’ve welcomed 24 finalists and now have 9 winners – each and everyone one of them are truly inspirational. Congratulations to them all.”

The nine winners were:

PayPal Crowdfunder of the Year – Luke Ambler

Luke launched #itsokaytotalk after his brother-in-law, Andy, sadly committed suicide in 2016. He wanted to create a safe space where men could speak without fear of being judged. He set up Andy’s Man Club, encouraging men from all walks of life to talk to other like-minded men in his hometown. When the #itsokaytotalk selfie campaign took off on social media, Luke realised that this was a big problem nationally. He’s now crowdfunding to set up an Andy’s Man Club in areas across the UK.

The JustGiving Life Changer Award – Esther Marshall

After surviving an abusive relationship, Esther vowed to help women and girls in similar circumstances to get back up on their feet, achieve their full potential and stand tall again. She started crowdfunding to set up sTandTall, an organisation that helps woman and girls get access to the support they need quickly and anonymously. The aim is to set up education programmes to teach people about the effects of bullying and abuse as well as holistic centres to provide restorative care to victims.

Young Fundraiser of the Year – Brooke Taylor

16-year-old Brooke has been a patient at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital since the day she was born. At 11 days old she had lifesaving surgery to remove a pelvic tumour and since then she’s had more operations than birthdays. Last year, against medical advice, she completed the Manchester 10k with her surgeon by her side. This year, Brooke recruited more than 70 people to run with her in Brooke’s Barmy Army including a brass band. Together they raised over £16,000 for the hospital.

Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year – Jeff Stelling

Football presenter Jeff Stelling’s March for Men saw him walk 15 marathons in 15 days, visiting 40 football clubs and encouraging hundreds of people to join him along the way. It was Jeff’s second year of marching to beat prostate cancer. He’s raised over £700,000 to help Prostate Cancer UK fight for better diagnosis, better treatment and better support.

Creative Fundraiser of the Year – Chris Pickhaver

After a long struggle with mental illness, Chris’ son Joe sadly took his own life last December. He was 16-years-old. Chris created a beautiful book of photographs in his son’s memory that he uploaded to his JustGiving page. Joe’s family wanted to raise £16,000 – one thousand pounds for every year of his life. They’ve raised over £43,000 for Young Minds Trust, a charity committed to improving the mental health of children.

Endurance Fundraiser of the Year – Gary McKee

When Gary crossed the finish line of the London marathon, he was also crossing the finish line of his 100 marathons in 100 days challenge. He warmed up for the main event by running a marathon every single day for the 99 days leading up to it. Gary did it for his dad who was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago and would have been 80 this year. Gary’s raised over £100,000 for Macmillan.

Charity of the Year – Alzheimer’s Society

Alzheimer’s Society is transforming the landscape of dementia forever. Until the day we find a cure, they will create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.

The Outstanding Commitment Award – George and the Giant Pledge

In January four-year-old George was diagnosed with cancer. Blown away by the dedicated staff at The Royal Marsden, his mum and dad started George and the Giant Pledge. They set out to make things better for ALL kids facing cancer by raising £100,000. After smashing that target in just two weeks, they’ve inspired hundreds of people to join the pledge, raising over £430,000 in their quest to hit £1million.

Special Recognition Award – Bradley Lowey

Bradley was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, in January 2013 when he was just 18-months-old.

He fought and beat the disease once, but sadly the cancer returned in July 2016. Gemma and Carl, his mum and dad, were told the devastating news that his cancer was terminal the following December.

Bradley went on to touch the lives of millions with his brave fight. As a huge Sunderland AFC fan, Bradley formed a close friendship with his football hero, Jermain Defoe. He regularly joined Jermain on the pitch as club mascot, with the striker playing a special role in Bradley’s fight, regularly visiting him during his treatment. His story moved people all over the world, and Bradley’s family raised over £700,000.

Six-year-old Bradley lost his battle on July 7th 2017. But his fight against neuroblastoma left a legacy that will help generations of children suffering from the disease. His story has raised crucial awareness and Gemma and Carl have set up the Bradley Lowery Foundation to help other children fight.


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About JustGiving: 
JustGiving (a Blackbaud Company) is the world’s leading social platform for giving, enabling over 22 million people to raise over $4.5 billion for over 26,000 charities since launching in 2001.

As a tech-for-good company, JustGiving develops world-class technology and innovative tools to fulfil its mission to connect people with the causes they care about. By making giving more simple, social and rewarding, JustGiving helps all causes, charities and people in need to reach more people and raise more money.

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