An Oxfordshire fundraising organisation toasted to its success last week as it celebrated raising its most amount of money ever!
Play2Give, which was founded by Didcot’s Andrew Baker, 27, in 2007, marked achieving raising a record £13,532.05 in total in 2015, with the team presenting the Oxford Children’s Hospital (CHOX) with its grand instalment of funds raised last year in a ‘3 cheers’ style handover last Wednesday (January 13th).
The Children’s Hospital, at the John Radcliffe Hospital, has been one of the fundraising group’s main charities since its inception, and received £9,439.75 for the hospital fund through a wide range of fundraising endeavours and initiatives last year, including a kids football tournament held in the summer which raised over £5,730.
Andrew set up Play2Give after being inspired after receiving treatment throughout childhood after being born with a brain injury, including major brain surgery aged 12 in 2001. He began raising money for the children’s hospital in 2003 at St Birinus School in Didcot. Now, Andrew runs Play2Give with a small team of ‘passionate’ friends including Dale Harris, Teresa Strike and Elaine Childs. Dale’s daughter, Mya, 13, has been treated at the hospital since she was born with Spina Bifida in 2002.
The group have gone on to donate over £45,550 over the past 8 years through a wide variety of events, with its football tournament held every summer at Oxford City Football Club, being its biggest annual fundraiser. Last year other endeavours held included teams in fun runs and the Monster Race, a fundraising party, a superheroes spinathon, to bag packing and flower wrapping, a sponsored stroll and raffles by Sainsbury’s in Didcot who supported the organisation over the course of a year.
Headway Oxfordshire brain injury support charity and the John Radcliffe Hospital Paediatric Eye Fund also benefited from the record year’s success, making up the grand £13,532 given out by the group. The group also scooped the ‘Best Fundraising Award’ for innovative fundraising and campaigns at the Didcot Business & Community Awards last November.
Play2Give is now just £3,800 away from raising a landmark £40,000 to name its very own room on the teenage ward at the children’s hospital.
Andrew himself has devoted the past 13 years to raising funds for charities close to his heart. In total he has raised over £60,000 for a multitude of charities, including over £50,880 to the children’s hospital – all of which has been raised by Andrew and his thousands of army of fundraising supporters such as schools, friends and the Play2Give team and community, since 2003.
Plans for 2016 already include a fundraising party in April at Didcot Football Club and teams in the Monster Race and Oxford Fun Run in the spring.