It was a date at Downing Street recently for our inspiring MBE founder, Andy Baker
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a special reception at No 10 on August 9 to celebrate Points of Light award winners from over the past few years, and Didcot’s Andy Baker was one of those who was celebrated at the occasion.
Andy founded fundraising organisation Play2Give, in 2007, to continue the fundraising he first embarked upon aged 14 in 2003 whilst a pupil at Didcot’s St Birinus School.
Andy was the 1,290th recipient of the Points of Light Award, which rewards outstanding individual volunteers making a change in their communities. The Prime Minister recognised Andy in January 2020 and Wantage and Didcot MP David Johnston, who is a Patron of Andy’s organisation, presented him with his honour at Westminster on behalf of Boris Johnson.
Andy, who has been fundraising for good causes including Oxford Children’s Hospital for two decades, met other winners including 7-year-old Tony Hudgell from Kent who raised more than £1million and the Skipping Sikh, amongst other inspirational nationwide citizens.
Play2Give is holding its 15th anniversary party on the park event on September 10 at Boundary Park in Didcot – a family fun day, with live music and are well on their way to reaching a £15,000 birthday goal for the year.
Nearing £400,000 has been raised by Andy and Play2Give over the past two decades through a wide number of fundraising events, countless stalls, tombolas, raffles and cake sales, individuals taking on challenges and through the value of Christmas presents raised and distributed out to children in hospital, less fortunate families and the vulnerable across the county.
This July saw the return of the event that kick started it all for the fundraising group in 2007 with the return of the Play2Give Football tournament after five years with over £2,056 netted in and the Children’s Hospital, Headway and the neonatal care unit via SSNAP at the JR all receiving financial aid.
Guests at the Downing Street reception got to meet the PM, and was treated to wine and canapes as a thank you for their exceptional contributions to their communities.