Andrew Baker MBE BCAv
Over the course of five years during his time at the school he lead and inspired the school's fundraising efforts in his fundraising crusade for the Oxford Children's Hospital which he also inspired the sixth form and Didcot Girls' School to get on board. He raised over £11,000 with the St Birinus School community.
The school along with Andrew's name is displayed on a glass plaque of recognition inside the hospital's atrium with hundreds of others involved in raising significant sums of money in the building capital appeal for the Oxford Children's Hospital, which was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in November 2008.
Despite living daily life with a brain injury, Andrew now 32 fights strong against his disability which often leaves him suffering chronic fatigue, debilitating headaches, impaired cognitive function and walking difficulties, but he continues undeterred to continue helping others in need, be it children's, health or disability causes or others requring help and support.
"Full of energy Andrew's commitment and dedication to raise funds for Play2Give, his Charity, work that has seen him being honoured with an MBE. I met Andrew for the first time during an event he organised in Didcot at the end of 2020, he is a noble person who is supportive of others in the community. Driving Miss Daisy Didcot and I are proud to be associated with Andrew and Play2Give who is an inspiration and has proven record of his ability to raise funds. Andrew's professionalism and dedication has enabled Play2Give to become the success." - Zororo Mubaya, Director, Driving Miss Daisy Didcot
"Andrew is a valued member of the charitable community and always has a positive outlook. Play2Give has been a major part of his life since 2007 and has been a great success and raised a considerable amount of money for such a worthy cause. I would highly reccomend him for anything that involves planning, organisation, events and charities etc. He is a reliable, honest and down to earth person which is hard to come by these days." - Jamie Brown, Pertemps Didcot
BBC South Today - Watch Adina Campbell's report from July 2017 broadcast on the day Andrew received a British Citizen Award at the Palace of Westminster. With thanks to BBC South Today and contributors St Birinus School, Headway Oxfordshire and Oxford Children's Hospital.
"Andrew is an inspiration to us all. From a very young age he has worked through so many personal challenges and continues to do so with a very positive approach. In addition to dealing with such challenges Andrew has been instrumental in raising thousands of pounds for the Oxford Children's Hospital during and post its capital campaign. Andrew is a very talented fundraiser with an ability to encourage and motivate others to support the cause." - Graham Brogden, former Head of Fundraising at Oxford Hospitals Charity
Awarded an MBE in Her Majesty The Queen's New Year Honours 2021, Andrew first began fundraising when, in September 2002 he and his mother Ann was involved in the launch of the Oxford Mail's original £15million fundraising campaign to build the specialist Oxford Children's Hospital, which opened in January 2007.
It was this appeal and his own personal motivation to give back which in January 2003 first drove Andy into wanting to raise funds as a pupil at St Birinus School in Didcot for the children's hospital. Raising funds at school was his way to repay his 'thank-you back' to the Oxford medical teams who cared, helped and treated him throughout childhood. Oxford medics saved his life twice over - once at birth after he was looked after in the neonatal care areas after being born with a brain injury - and again aged 12 following brain surgery.
Now, in 19 years of tireless fundraising through events and including the value of presents in the annual "Sleigh2Give" drive he has raised over £280,000 and continually rising for good causes across the county, with thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers and the Oxfordshire community of supporters.
Due to his sheer dedication and tireless work he has also been recognised at other levels including in July 2019 becoming an Ambassador for the British Citizen Awards.
The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire gave him a High Sheriff Award in March 2020 for outstanding voluntary work.
"Andrew is an inspiring individual that has an admiring drive within. We first crossed paths at the British Citizen Awards in London and I was thrilled to have met such a motivational individual. Andrews personal achievements and accolades are nothing short of amazing and since meeting some of the other BCA holders I can definately say he is one of the most down to earth, humble people there is!" - Torron-Lee Dewar, Founder of The ADU Charity & BCA Medallist
"I have only known Andrew personally for a short time but I have been aware of his brilliant work and charity for quite a few years now. At Sobell House we have benefited recently from two generous donations from Play 2 Give. Andrew is one of those special people who has had challenges in his own life but has used those challenges and his life experiences to help others. And thats why he is very special. I wish him well for the fantastic work he is yet to do. If you can support him in any way I ask you to do so." - Tim Wraith, Sobell House Hospice
"I am full of admiration for Andrew. His commitment and dedication to raise funds for his charity, Play 2 Give, is inspirational. He is a thoroughly nice person who is always friendly and so supportive of others in the community." - Jane Elliott, SeeSaw
"I first worked with Andrew in my role at Fox FM's Charity Manager and admire the way the Andrew has dealt with challenges in his life and is now dedicated to helping others! Passionate and enthusiastic are only the start of it with Andrew, a lovely fella with a big heart who has made a big difference." - Nick Streeter, SpecialEffect
Credit ITV Meridian News - Andrew's finalist film. Pride of Britain 2019. Andrew was one of four regional finalists for 'ITV Fundraiser of the Year' in the ITV Meridian region. Film broadcast 30th September 2019.
"I have worked with Andrew over many years and he is a real inspiration to me. He is tireless in his approach to raise funds for charities close to his heart. He is a genuinely nice person with a huge heart. He puts everything into every event or project he manages and never gives up." - Teresa Strike, Friend and former volunteer