This year’s Sleigh2Give campaign has ramped up a notch with the festive appeal for poorly children in hospital the biggest drive to date with more companies getting involved and not just from Didcot either, as the passion and inspirational character of a Didcot man who nearly 15 years on in fundraising is still going strong, has moved the support of generous supporters to get on board!
The appeal, the second, is Play2Give’s annual festive drive to spread cheer, smiles and joy to poorly children at the Oxford Children’s Hospital this Christmas. Following the success of last year’s Sleigh2Give which saw 3 sacksful of toys and gifts donated, Play2Give founder, Andrew Baker, has already received an astounding level of support from companies, schools and even pubs for this year’s round of ‘Give A Gift For A CHOX Kid’, this year being sponsored by Go Green Taxis. The latest firm to get on board is countywide estate agents, Breckon & Breckon, who sponsor the fundraising organisation’s annual football tournaments. With a network of six offices, they are delighted to be one of many donation zones this year.
Set up by Andrew, 28, who has a brain injury, in 2007, the fundraising organisation has netted in over £52,360 over the past nine years. Over £39,000 has been donated to the Children’s Hospital at the John Radcliffe by the group, and has been shortlisted in the Didcot Business & Community Awards 2016, in the ‘Best Fundraising Award’ category. The winners of the BACAs – the Oscars of Didcot – will be announced at a prestigious awards gala on November 18th at the Cornerstone in the town. The organisation, set to celebrate its tenth anniversary next year, won at last year’s BACAs for successful innovative events and campaigns.
Managing director of Breckon & Breckon, Keith Stacey, says: ‘Following our continued involvement with the Play2Give summer football tournament, we are pleased to extend our support for the special Christmas ‘Give a Gift For a CHOX Kid’ appeal as part of our commitment to working closely with our local communities. Breckon & Breckon and our network of offices across Oxfordshire are delighted to be drop off points, so please bring along your donation for this good cause.’
Andrew was inspired to support the Children’s Hospital after suffering a brain injury at birth, and throughout childhood treatment including major brain surgery aged 12 in 2001, he was one of the first young supporters to begin raising money for the Oxford Children’s Hospital. He lead and inspired fundraising efforts at St Birinus School, which in 2003 earnt him the title of the ‘Heart FM Local Young Hero’ and at Didcot Girls’ School as a sixth former. In 2013 he won the Oxfordshire Youth Enterprise Award and has gone on to raise with the help and support of thousands of friends and fundraising ambassadors, over £65,000 for local causes close to his heart, such as the Oxford Children’s Hospital and Headway Oxfordshire.
Sponsors Go Green Taxis spokesperson, Hannah Wilcock, says: ‘Go Green Taxis are very proud to be sponsoring and supporting such a worthwhile campaign that will really make a difference to the children within our local community. We love to be a part of the community and to support local charities and so we are very honoured to be a part of this special campaign. All donations are going towards a fantastic cause and Go Green are proud to be involved with this. Andrew and his team works very hard organising many fantastic campaigns for this charity and Go Green cannot wait to be a part of this and many more to come!”
Elf Andrew and his team of helpers will deliver presents to the wards of the hospital in the final week before Christmas. Donations have already been pouring in, even more than this time last year, and you can donate at one of many other donation points including Tesco Didcot on 25th-27th November, The Royal Oak, on Park Road, Didcot, The Ladygrove Generous George and UTC Oxfordshire Sport all in Didcot, Oxford Harlequins RFC, Champions in Wallingford, to many others, which keep growing in support, with the full list available with fuller details of how to get involved, sponsor or make a donation, at www.play2give.org.uk.