A celebration of community spirit at our 2024 awards ceremony

It was a night to remember as over 200 of our superstar supporters came together for our annual Community Spirit Awards. The red carpet was rolled out at the Grand Hotel Gosforth Park as our guests gathered for a drinks reception and a tasty buffet before the awards ceremony got underway at 7pm.

Opened by Jane Hogan, Head of Fundraising at St Oswald’s Hospice, guests were warmly welcomed to what promised to be a night of true celebration and acknowledgement of the fundraising achievements of our supporters.

Our awards host, Davina Radford, Spiritual Care Lead at St Oswald’s Hospice, then kicked off the proceedings. We were delighted to award 135 medals and certificates to those who attended, which included everyone from marathon runners to mountain climbers, corporate supporters, young fundraisers, community groups, card makers and cake bakers.

Throughout the evening, 9 special Community Spirit Awards were presented to a selection of individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond in their support over the last year.

Our first recipient was Grace Darling C of E School, who embraced our Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne Art Trail programme with a baa-riliant amount of creativity and enthusiasm. They hosted the Baarmy Fun Run – a whole school event with staff and students dressing up as sheep for the day, ready to take on a huge obstacle course on the school field. Kitchen staff even created some sheep-themed sweet treats for all to enjoy, too.

Our second winner was the Prince William Bar and Grill, who nominated St Oswald’s Hospice as their Charity of the Year in 2023 after learning about the support the Hospice has given to their friend Wayne Gunn. Managers Chloe and Alex Perna held a series of fundraising activities over the course of 12 months and together with their customers and local community, raised a staggering £12,145.

Next up, the fabulous Asda Ladies! These Community Champions are often among the first to volunteer to help out, be it in our Great North Run tent and other events, helping with store collections and even donating snacks and other refreshments for event participants to enjoy. Their smiling faces, kindness and generosity is so appreciated by all.

The Northumberland Volunteer Committee received our fourth award. Whether it’s craft making, cake baking, telephoning supporters or volunteering at events, they’re always up for getting involved. This group are a wonderful example of what it means to be active ambassadors for the Hospice.

After a short interval, our event resumed with a short Q&A interview with our event partner, Wenyan Sharp. Wenyan is the owner of the Newcastle based business Galaxy Energy Solutions and is also the UK based strategic partner of SolaX Power. Both companies are on a mission to support homeowners and businesses on their journey to net zero, providing leading solar power solutions for all.

Our fifth award was presented by Wenyan to the very deserving Terry Egdell. An enthusiastic fundraiser, Terry really engaged with the Hospice’s Giving Day initiative in 2023 and it was thanks to a donation on his page that we were able to hit the £300,000 milestone. Along with his friends, known as Heb’s Posse, the group have raised a significant amount of money over the years in memory of their much loved friend, David Hepburn.

The sixth award of the night was presented to Stephen Pape, who well and truly got bitten by the fundraising bug in 2023. Not only did he take on the zip wire challenge, he completed our 100 Miler cycling event and the Great North Run. He is also one of our Trekkers, heading to Vietnam later in 2024. Stephen is a great ambassador for the Hospice and often lends his support in other ways, too.

Award number seven was given to a team who were hugely supportive during the Shaun on the Tyne Art Trail. The team at Quorum Park provided the perfect space for all of our Shaun sculptures to call home, a painting room for artists to complete their work, an event space for our preview event and storage space for everything from materials to plinths and more. We could not have done it without them!

Our eighth award was presented to our very own Danielle Harvey, Community Fundraising Team Manager at St Oswald’s Hospice. Danielle is someone who ‘gets things done’ and as well as leading on challenge events, she often takes part in them, too. She’s especially passionate about our Trek events, and supports trekkers by organising lots of training walks ahead of their adventures. And if that’s not enough, she also took on her own month long fitness challenge, attending a variety of fitness classes and activities to raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice. A proper grafter, a real encourager and an absolute gem, we’re so proud of you Danielle!

Our final award of the evening was given to the awesome team at Applebridge! Their hands on support during our art trails, particularly our Shaun on the Tyne trail, was invaluable. Rain or shine, this team could be called upon to help with everything from sculpture installation and moving, plinth repairs and more. They’re a top team!

As the event closed, thanks and well wishes were extended to all who have supported St Oswald’s Hospice, especially over the last year.

Reflecting on the event, Chief Executive at St Oswald’s Hospice, Steph Edusei said, “It’s been fantastic to welcome so many people and to celebrate their achievements. The evening captured a real sense of community and joy, and we’re so proud and grateful to everyone who has given their time, their talents and their commitment to supporting our patients and their families.”

A big thank you to Jane and her team at Gosforth Park Hotel for hosting us and looking after us so well; to Jack at Storm AV LTD for his wonderful tech support; to our fabulous event partners SolaX Power and Galaxy Energy Solutions LTD, and MD Wenyan Sharp for kindly sponsoring this event. And last, but by no means least, the biggest of thank you’s to all of our supporters for your brilliant fundraising to help ensure St Oswald’s Hospice is here both now and in the future for all those who need us across our communities in the North East.

Check out some images from the night below:

View our photo gallery for this event here.

If you’re feeling inspired, find out how you can get involved here.

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