Andrew, who began raising money at the age of 14 in 2003 after wanting to 'repay' the Oxford medics who treated him from birth after being born with a brain injury, and in particular the brain surgery he endured aged 12, saw Andrew scoop the biggest gong of the night at the fifth annual ceremony, held by Against Breast Cancer.
The glitzy black-tie occasion, held at The Hilton Hotel in Reading, saw Andy up against two other contenders in the category of lifetime of achievement, after Andy was the most nominated person this year, after Against Breast Cancer received more than 20 separate nominations by people, making Andy possibly the most nominated individual for the awards in their history.
It was a proud moment for Andy and for Play2Give when he was announced at nearly 10.30pm as the much deserved, and popular, winner of the lifetime category. He was in good and strong contention with Alison Porter and Professor Diana Eccles, who total up many more years of their careers between them, but Andy was 'surprised' to 'win' and for Andy it was an emotional moment after nearly eighteen years of tireless fundraising, against the odds.
Andy attended the ceremony with mum Ann, and fellow Play2Give volunteers including best friend Luke, Matthew and Emma, along with Angela, Luke and Matthew's mother.
Andrew's win came after he recently was nominated for the ITV Fundraiser of the Year, as part of the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards. Andrew was selected as one of four finalists for the ITV Meridian region, and was named a runner-up this year in the annual search to find an inspirational and wonderful fundraiser. Several nominations was received by ITV for Andrew, and we was delighted that through his nomination as shown on ITV Meridian news earlier this month, helped to increase our name and awareness further across the South.
In total, there was nine categories including Fundraiser of the Year, Young Achiever, Company of the Year, Health Worker of the Year and Charity of the Year.
We was delighted that Headway Oxfordshire, of which Andy has been a service user for eight years and one of our key charities we raise money for, was also in contention and named the winner of the 'Charity of the Year'. Headway was represented by Charlotte Carlisle, operations manager who dedicated their win in tribute to Andy and to all of the 'inspirational staff, volunteers and service users' when accepting the award on stage.
The evening was hosted by Reading-born actor, producer and martial artist Winston Ellis, who last October became our first celebrity Patron and notably known for his roles in Batman: The Dark Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean, and fellow actor Samuel Anderson, most known for his roles in Emmerdale and Doctor Who. Both are pictured above presenting Andy with his lifetime achievement award.
Congratulations Andy - we and Oxfordshire particularly Didcot couldn't be more prouder of you.