Award-winning Oxfordshire fundraising organisation Play2Give is set to launch its second festive campaign to brighten up the lives of sick children in hospital this year.
The group, who last year ran their very first ‘Sleigh2Give’ campaign and delivered over 3 sacksful of donated gifts of toys to the Oxford Children’s Hospital wards, are about to launch their second appeal to follow up on last year’s success.
‘Give A Gift For A CHOX Kid’ is the brainwave of Play2Give founder Andrew Baker, 28, from Didcot. Andrew, who began fundraising aged 14 as a schoolboy at St Birinus School in Didcot, formed Play2Give in 2007. Together with a team of friends, the fundraising organisation – which won the Best Fundraising Award in the Didcot Business & Community Awards 2015 last November and was nominated for the Charity of the Year and Best Team of Volunteers in May’s Oxfordshire Charity & Volunteer Awards, has now raised and donated over £51,800 to a range of charitable causes in the county. Causes including Headway Oxfordshire have benefited with £39,000 going to the Children’s Hospital.
The P2G group are striving to raise a total of £40,000 for the hospital in order for Play2Give to have its very own funded and named room on the teenage ward, and the team are reaching ever nearer to this very special goal.
Last December, Andrew dressed as an Elf along with two Santa’s delivered the bundles of gifts and brought special Christmas cheer and joy to children unfortunate to have spent time in hospital over the festive period.
This year, Andrew is aiming higher and hopes to expand on Sleigh2Give and is appealing for Oxfordshire residents and companies to dig deep with donations of new and unused toys. They can also donate via a special donation giving page.
This year’s Christmas toy appeal is already being backed by Champion & Co in Wallingford, the Performing Angels & Stars Stage & Dance School Didcot & Wallingford, and Kidactive Oxford.
Andrew was inspired to raise money for the Oxford Children’s Hospital, which opened in 2007 following a £15m fundraising campaign after receiving treatment throughout his childhood, including major brain surgery aged 12. He suffered a brain injury at birth, and has gone on to raise over £66,000 over near fifteen years. Play2Give, along with the Children’s Hospital, will both celebrate their tenth anniversaries in 2017. Andrew attends the Headway Oxfordshire activity & rehabilitation centre in Kennington once a week as part of his ongoing rehabilitation from his brain injury sustained at birth. He suffered a further head injury aged 8. In 2013 Andrew was named winner of the Inspirational Entrepreneur Award in the Oxfordshire Youth Awards. He has been nominated for a ‘British Citizen Award’ and will find out in early December if he has been selected to receive the honour.