We are today delighted and equally excited to share some brilliant end of year news that our Founder and CEO, Andrew Baker, has been named in the New Year Honours 2021 for his services to charity receiving the royal seal of approval with an MBE from The Queen.
We are proud to announce that Andrew is now officially a "Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire" (MBE) after his tireless fundraising since the age of 14 has been recognised by Her Majesty.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking as the honours list was published, said: "In a year when so many have made sacrifices to protect our NHS and save people's lives, the outstanding efforts of those receiving honours are a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion. The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country. As we begin a new year and continue to come together to fight this virus, may their service and stories be an inspiration to us all."
In 2003 with a dream to raise at least £500 at St Birinus School in Didcot to help fund the building of the £30million Oxford Children's Hospital, which opened in 2007, to say "thank you" back to the medical teams who helped, cared for and treated him throughout childhood, Andrew, who lives life with a brain injury sustained at birth, has dedicated half of his life to helping others.
He embarked upon his fundraising mission as a year 10 schoolboy to give back for his treatment originally inspired by brain surgery he endured aged 12. Now, Andrew, who was born with a brain injury has now raised over £280,000 in almost 19 years of dedicated fundraising - thanks to the support and help of the local community including his old school.
Andrew adds that his "MBE" is a tribute to everyone involved in his charitable work. We extend our thanks to each and every supporter and volunteer of his team past and present.
Adding his congratulations, MP for Wantage and Didcot and Patron, David Johnston OBE, wrote: "I am a proud patron of Play2Give and am absolutely delighted to see Andy get this well-deserved recognition. Andy is a local hero and at a young age had already raised more money for charity than most adults do - I am so pleased to see him get an honour that celebrates his contribution to the community."
Many congratulations Andy - we couldn't be more proud. After nearly two decades of tireless hard work in fundraising to make life better for others, it is truly well deserved!
Andrew will hopefully attend his Investiture at Buckingham Palace at a date later this year and we sure you will join us in extending your congratulations to Andy.
- Oxford Mail: Didcot's Play2Give founder to be awarded MBE
- Wallingford Radio: Local man awarded MBE
- BBC Radio Oxford: Hear Andy's New Year's Eve chat with Fleur Ostojak.
- The Times: 2021 honours: Covid champions who went the extra mile