We would like to share some of the lovely congratulatory messages that some of the charities we help and support have shared this week as Andy Baker marks twenty years of dedicated fundraising.
The Oxford Children's Hospital (CHOX) has been supported by since our beginnings. We have raised over £85,000 for the hospital since 2007.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail last week, Sarah Vaccari from the Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: "Andrew Baker and the Play2Give team have been huge supporters of the Oxford Children's Hospital. Andy watched the hospital being built while he was a young patient and had an ambition to raise £500 to support our hospital appeal.
"Twenty years on he and the team have raised around £85,000 through their football events, sales, balls and family fun days. It is wonderful support and we are delighted to congratulate Andy on this fantastic milestone."
In May last year at the start of his role as Didcot Mayor, councillor Mocky Khan chose our fundraising organisation to help us raise funds and awareness. So far Mocky's events have included a barn dance, a festive fun run and a coffee morning.
Mocky said: "Andy Baker is a community champion and has become a local legend due to his hard work and fundraising through Play2Give. I am amazed by his commitment and dedication, and passion to help others. When I became Mayor, I wanted to help to raise funds, and help Andy and his team. This is why I chose Play2Give as one my Mayoral charities along with Coeliac UK. I do not know where Andy gets his energy from to arrange and organise so many fun events and to have done this for 20 years is outstanding. Well done Andy, congratulations and keep going!"
We have raised funds for Sobell House since late 2020, with funds of over £1,000 inspired in the memory of our late supporter, Angela Norris, who received palliative end of life care at home in her final weeks, after being diagnosed with stage four small cell lung cancer.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail a spokesperson for the hospice charity said: "At Sobell House we are so grateful to Andy and Play2Give for all the support they have given to the hospice. Andy's kindness and generosity shine through in everything he does. He is such a good friend to so many."
SSNAP, the charity supporting families of sick babies in neonatal care at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said: "SSNAP would like to say a huge thank you to Andy Baker MBE BCAv and his Play2Give team for their incredible support of SSNAP. Over the last ten years, Play2Give has regularly supported SSNAP by fundraising, giving monetary donations and donating gifts for parents and their families on the Neonatal Unit, every Christmas. We really can't thank Andy and play2give enough!"
And finally Headway Oxfordshire, who have benefited from our support both through funds and through gifts over many years. In total nearly £20,000 has been raised for the brain injury charity since Andy became a service user for his own rehabilitation nearly ten years ago.
Charity CEO Jamie Miller said: "The relationship between Andy and Headway Oxfordshire (HWO) is one the defines the very idea of "giving back". In supporting Andy to overcome some of his personal challenges as a consequence of brain injury, Headway Oxfordshire has helped him to gain new skills, improving his resilience and overall independence. We are delighted to see how Andy's confidence has increased as a result and how he has used this confidence to support others through his amazing charitable work with Play2Give. His generosity towards HWO is hugely appreciated. In giving back like this, he has helped those friends he has made at HWO and also created a perfect circle in our relationship. We wish Andy and Play 2 Give all the best with their ongoing endeavours for the future."
It is heart-warming to hear of so many warm messages for Andy's good work as we commemorate his two decades of services to charity. We as a fundraising group also turn fifteen years old this year, in changing transforming and saving lives across Oxfordshire and beyond.
So many people's lives young and old and families have been enriched over twenty years, through a passionate founder in Andy who has been dedicated to making a difference and all inspired by his continued repayment of thank you back to the healthcare teams who cared for and treated him since birth.