On Friday 14th September 2018 we held our third annual Candlelighters Awards!

It was a fantastic evening at the Royal Armories where we were able to recognise and thank all the wonderful people who support Candlelighters.  With approximately 375 guests, the room was filled with inspirational, heart-warming and emotional stories from families, corporate and community supporters.

Below is a summary of all the 2018 winners!

Above and Beyond Effort of the Year- Adrian Pagliaro

Adrian actively supports his friends through fundraising after their son was diagnosed with cancer. Adrian goes above and beyond to organise a fantastic range of team events and not only promotes these, but organises training walks and all the logistics for everyone taking part including overnight stays, transport, food, maps and safety briefings; he plans out the details for every step of the way, undertaking his own pre-event reconnaissance too to ensure nothing has been missed. His excellent planning and preparation takes hours of his own time and energy and the team feel without him the events just wouldn’t happen.

Company of the Year- Eco Integrated Property Solutions 

The company contacted us to offer their services to support the Cottage project. Managing Director, Andrew Walker explained that we had supported him and his family when his son was diagnosed with cancer ten years previously. The team have undertaken the entire project management work for the Cottage, saving tens of thousands of pounds. This has included administration, co-ordination, management, the tender process, liaising with contractors and supporting the Candlelighters team with queries or requests for help, site visits, compliance checks and advice. Nothing is too much for them and they help in any way they can to ensure the project runs smoothly. The team have got involved with promotional work, including Andrew telling his personal story in press work and our newsletter. The staff have all fundraised too, undertaking a bucket collection and attending fundraising events. They have really thrown themselves into being behind us every step of the way.

Company Colleague of the Year- Nick Turnbull 

Nick volunteered at the York 10k last year, where he spoke to us about wanting to get more involved. Since then, he has offered low cost printing as part of his business Inc Dot, played Santa for us at our Xmas party, dyed his hair pink and purple, raising £517. He has hosted a coffee morning and made us the charity partner of the Business Over Breakfast Club, York. So far, having been a member for just a few weeks, this has generated raffle prizes, a table at the awards and new potential partnerships in the York area. Nick assigned his apprentice designer to us, so all of our small design needs are being met free of cost. He sponsored our first ever networking event invites and printed them free of charge. If he can’t help us with a printing job, he actively looks for other people who can help us.

Event of the Year- Harrogate Candlelighters 

Harrogate Candlelighters are an official volunteer fundraising branch for Candlelighters. They raise awareness and money for the charity across the Harrogate area all year round and have been running for many years. The Apres Ski event was an unusual take on a ball. It featured tipis around the grounds of Ripley Castle, open fire pits, champagne reception, food from award winning chef Andy Annat and ski related fun games the event raised over £53,000 and was featured heavily in local press. The more relaxed dress code of black tie, ski wear or Christmas jumpers suited everyone and appealed to a wider (and younger) audience.

Harrogate Candlelighters ball at the Crown hotel

Fundraising Innovation of the Year- Ricky Burwell and Ben Brown 

Ricky and Ben have developed a unique boxing event for members of the hospitality industry in Leeds to take part in. The novice boxers sign up and train hard for 8 weeks together. This culminates in an evening of boxing that was held at Leeds Town Hall, with donations from ticket sales from the event and a couple of boxers actively fundraising for Candlelighters, raising over £2500. The event enabled a totally different way for people to find out about the charity and included holding a press conference prior to the event. They also raised awareness with all participating boxers and bars involved across the city; over 700 attendees came along to the evening, a new audience for Candlelighters. It was a new and vibrant event and the Lord Mayor of Leeds loved being there on our behalf.

Team Effort of the Year- Rivers Meet Craft Cafe 

Every child on treatment for cancer is given a soft toy, called a Chemoduck. The toy has a chemo line and is used to explain procedures to children. To make the duck even more of an experience, outfits and accessories are given to the children following treatments and procedures and are something they look forward to on visiting the hospital. Café owner Joanne Plenderleith brings together a group of dedicated volunteers every week at Rivers Meet Craft Café in Methley to help design and make these unique items. She provides her room and resources, supporting volunteers to get involved in whatever way they can. From cutting out to ironing, sewing to embroidering, there is something for everyone to assist with and get involved, no matter their ability. This sharing of skills and support of each other truly shows the spirit of team working, they dedicate hundreds of hours every month and have been doing so for over two years, bringing smiles to children’s faces every day. 

Volunteer of the Year- Mark Gallimore 

Mark gives so much of his time in many ways including being Chair of the York Candlelighters Fundraising group, which involves organising meetings and events with volunteers, supporting people fundraising in the area and cascading information and updates about the charity to them all, massively increasing awareness across York. This year Mark has also set himself a personal challenge to complete 211.3 miles of running in 2018 bringing his total mile count to 503 miles since he began fundraising. This takes up most of his weekends during the summer when he has a wife and four children to look after too! This is not just about fundraising, Mark does it to raise awareness and is proud to wear his bright pink Candlelighters running top all across Yorkshire and further afield.

Young Fundraiser of the Year- Taylor Aitcheson 

Taylor, a local tennis star, decided he wanted to give back to the community. He optimised on his sporting success and contacts to increase awareness of Candlelighters. Taylor, with the support of family and friends has raised over £5,000. He organised a 1 mile walk last year and again this year, with over 40 participants and promoted this to local schools, getting his wider community involved and engaged. Taylor has increased awareness too, appearing in newspapers and on Leeds Radio stations. Taylor introduced local business men who support his sporting career, to the charity. One contact arranged for 7 Lamborghinis to follow the funeral procession of a young boy, who sadly had passed away from cancer; Lamborghinis were his favourite cars. Taylor wanted everyone to feel appreciated and even held a ‘thank you’ night, with live entertainment for all involved.

Fundraiser of the Year- Layla Wray 

Layla is fundraising in memory of her brother Aidan. She has taken on a full year of extreme challenges with her friend Maxx and has shown true grit and determination. The challenges include Man vs Lakes - a brutal marathon over the hills of the Lake District, covering over 4200ft of ascent, and a few swims in the lakes. Man vs mountain - 22 Miles weaving up to the summit of mount Snowdon, covering over 5055ft of inclines and some punishing obstacles along the way. The longest obstacle race in the world- 20 Miles, 200 obstacles including the world’s longest monkey bars. The mighty deerstalker - 2 mountains in the dark with a head torch – the distance travelled remains a secret kept by the organisers. Plus at least one other race every single month in 2018. She has already raised over £1,500.