On Friday 1st September Candlelighters hosted the second annual awards ceremony at The Queens Hotel. With approximately 350 guests, the ballroom was filled with inspirational, heart-warming and emotional stories from families, corporate and community supporters.

The evening was hosted by Emmerdale star, Matthew Wolfenden and was attended by The Lord Mayor of Leeds as well as showcasing entertainment from four fantastic magicians and UK freestyle dance champion, Junior Frood.

The winners from every category

The list of winners can be seen below:


Above & Beyond – Steward Hulland 

Stewart is a gas engineer who has been part of an incredible fundraising campaign called the ‘Gas Chat Tour’. The tour has raised almost £100,000 for Candlelighters. It started in Lands End and is finishing at John O’Groats in December. A group of gas engineers are installing boilers once a month, the recipients pay for the installation, BUT all the money goes to Candlelighters. Stewart has been on hand the whole way to support a colleague whose daughter, and family were supported by Candlelighters.


Company of the year – Enact 

Leeds based Conveyancing Company Enact chose us as their charity of the year for 2017. Right from the start they have shown an incredible level of engagement and enthusiasm for fundraising. Having organised numerous events themselves they also decided to take part in our Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge. The event was hugely popular and through the work of key members of staff they managed to get over 70 people, almost half their staff, to sign up and even organised training walks for participants, in advance, to prepare them for the challenge. They’ve already raised over £20,000.


Company colleague of the year – Mike Robinson

Mike helped set-up Candlelighters partnership with Associated Waste Management and has led by example ever since. He is the reason why the partnership has become so successful in such a short period of time. Along with devoting his own personal time by taking event photographs, he also arranged for Leeds boxer Josh Warrington to visit the ward, he’s pushed for branding and fundraising campaigns on the company’s vehicles and also offered venue space for our bereaved dad’s, siblings and parents with children under treatment.


Event of the year – Will Power

Willpower Rugby League Festival was organised by Sasch Brook and Andy Williamson whose nephew William has been supported by Candlelighters since 2016. It brought over 2,000 people together for a fun filled day of family entertainment, a rugby league tournament and special rugby merchandise sale which raised well over £10,000 and raised lots of awareness through a media campaign including newspapers, radio and social media reaching a new audience for Candlelighters.


Fundraising Innovation – Mike Ashton & Simon May

The Tortoise and the Hare challenge involved Simon May (AKA the Hare) cycling nonstop from Seascale on the West coast to Whitby in the East, this covered 150 miles taking in some of the toughest, most mountainous, cycling terrain in the UK in 12 hours. Mike Ashton (AKA the Tortoise) did the identical 150 mile route on foot, although in order to make it a fair race, Simon (Hare) gave Mike (Tortoise) a 6 day head start. On the 24th of June the event was completed with a photo finish in Whitby. They have raised well over £12,000.


Team Effort of the year- Team Guy

Tracey and James Metcalfe have been fundraising in memory of their son Guy in a variety of ways over the last year. Their team is much more than the two of them as they have the support of their local community, friends and family. They like to go above and beyond with their efforts, for example, instead of just signing up to take part in the Great North Run themselves they decided to recruit as many people as possible both in 2016 and 17. On top of that not only did they run but some of the team cycled back to Malton (over 80 miles) afterwards too. As well as this they’ve inspired others to put on their own events and have combined raised well over £40,000.


Volunteer of the year- Julie Lancaster

Julie supports Candlelighters as we supported her son through his brave battle with cancer. She’s been volunteering on a weekly basis at The Square for the past six months, assisting the project support team, undertaking admin support, volunteering at Family Events & Peer Support. She started out on a work placement but once that finished she couldn’t stay away and decided to continue her support in a volunteering capacity. She has an amazing ability to adapt, working on several projects at any one time.


Young Fundraiser of the year – Nathan Barton-Kennedy

When Nathan was 6 years old he was diagnosed with Plexiform Fibrohistiocytic Tumour, a rare Sarcoma Cancer. He is now 8 years old and doing really well. On 1st July Nathan walked the Yorkshire Three Peaks (25.7 miles) which took him 10 hours and 58 minutes, a fantastic time! Not only has he taken on the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Nathan is growing his hair so that he can donate it to make wigs for other children who are going through cancer treatment.


Fundraiser of the year – Craig Wright

Craig was inspired to make a difference after Candlelighters supported his beloved son Andrew who is now at a point where he’s living a normal healthy adult life. He decided to grow his hair and beard over 12 months without shaving. A simple task maybe, but Craig really made it his goal to raise as much money as possible and as a result smashed his £10,000 target and reached over an incredible £35,000. He has motivated other people to do the same, inspiring our very own FundRAZOR challenge, and now his friend too who is setting about the same task, leaving a legacy for the future.


Lifetime Achievement – Ron & Sheila Waterson

The couple were nominated by their grandson Daniel who is also a keen supporter of Candlelighters and can often be seen taking part in runs and marathons dressed as a storm trooper. His grandparents have been the big inspiration for him and have encouraged all the family to support us over the years, raising thousands of pounds. The couple have been fundraising for more than 32 years for Candlelighters, organising numerous events during this time. They have also collected lots of small change in their family run newsagents. Their long standing dedication to and continued support of Candlelighters is awe inspiring.