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Meet Brian, 2020 Winner of Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year Award

It takes a special sort of person to give up their time and make a difference for others who are struggling. Yet somehow, every year, we see incredible people do just that. No matter how much they raise, when these immensely kind people come together, they help us to change the lives of thousands of children and young people.

In 2020 we all faced unexpected challenges. The pandemic brought hardship to every corner of the UK, and it’s been easy at times to feel lost or hopeless. But no matter how bad things got, there was always kindness blooming in the darkness. When we needed your support, our incredible fundraisers rose to the challenge and we can’t thank you enough for doing what you do 

That’s why, last year, more than ever we wanted to recognise those who have gone the extra mile. Our Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser of the Year Award is all about celebrating amazing people in the memory of a man who himself helped to do incredible things. Last year, we had the honour of awarding it to a long-standing supporter who, through the years, has worked tirelessly and selflessly to make a difference for others.

His story is one of inspiration, kindness and determination. Right now, as many of us face continued uncertainty and anxiety, it’s exactly what we need. 

Brian’s fundraising story starts in a hospital, outside the room where his son, Stuart, was sadly very unwell. Knowing that he wanted to do something to make a difference, he decided to leave a collection box in the hallway, asking for donations to BBC Children in Need.

Very sadly, Stuart died on the night before his 18th birthday. Brian and his family took Stuart’s birthday cake into the hospital to share with the staff and they made bouquets for the wards from the wreathes at his funeral.

Afterwards, they decided that they wanted to continue to raise money for BBC Children in Need, in Stuart’s memory.

From there, that one collection box in a hospital corridor soon grew into much more, with bucket collections in pubs, clubs and shopping centres, alongside fundraising support from local businesses and schools.

Even now, Brian and his family still don’t forget the hospital that cared for Stuart. Every year, on the eve of BBC Children in Need’s Appeal Show, they visit the hospital to give out Pudsey badges to all of the children. This is such a special moment for the whole family, so they were very sad in 2020 to be unable to visit due to the pandemic.

Brian and his family have shown such kindness over the years, and that also stretches well beyond their fundraising for BBC Children in Need, with regular support for a village near Jalandhar in Punjab and other fundraising activities.

We all know what an incredibly deserving winner of the award Brian is, and to help inspire others we asked him to share his advice on fundraising and getting involved.

I fundraise for very personal reasons, it’s important to me. So make sure to really think about what’s important to you when you fundraise

On the night of the BBC Children in Need show, when Brian won his award, he was blown away by the recognition, despite the technical difficulties we faced in getting to hear from him directly.

“I was speechless and in shock when it was announced on the night,” he says, “I thought I was just there to be part of the virtual audience and hadn’t realised that my family were in on the plans to announce the award.”

With the support of Brian and amazing people like you, we can keep funding incredible projects for children and young people facing disadvantage, not just through the challenges of the pandemic, but in the new year to come.

Thank you so much to everyone who donates, fundraises and supports us every year, and a special thank you to Brian and his family. You are truly amazing.

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