Parent of the Year Winner
Parent of the Year sponsored by Pizza Hut
Award for that special mum or dad who has dedicated herself to family and others.
The winner of the Parent of the Year award is Christine Foley
My sister was diagnosed with gastroperises (paralysed stomach) st marks hospital foundation trust care for my sister's needs. My mum Chris couldn't sit back and let bowel disease ruin people's lives so she decided to set up an online facebook charity page selling donated and unwanted goods. she sells these goods and 100% of the money goes to st marks. She has ran and organised a number of running events like half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons. Charity events such as Christmas markets. In just 3-4 years she has been doing this she has raised a huge £70k + for the charity.
She has 7 children, 8 grandchildren and is my sister's full-time carer and still finds time to dedicate every spare moment of time raising money for the charity and spreading much-needed awareness.
My mum is and always will be a hero and I would love for her to get the recognition she so deserves for all her hard work and dedication.
The charity selling page is called "goods for sale for charity in Cheltenham"
Nominator: Jade Quemby
Our runner-up is James and Kate Bottger
James & Kate's daughter, Charlotte, has cerebral palsy and several years ago now they were told there was an operation she could undergo in America that could help Charlotte to walk. James and Kate have spent years fundraising for this operation, getting the whole community on board and raising the funds to get Charlotte the operation she needed.
Following the initial operation, the fundraising didn't stop as Charlotte needed funding for the rehabilitation she needs to finally do what many of us take for granted, to walk. This included raising over £8,000 for a special machine to support her rehabilitation at home (only 3 children in the country have one at home).
James has taken part in two fundraising challenges of epic proportions over the last year or so;
In 2015, James climbed the equivalent of Everest without leaving Gloucestershire. He walked up and down Robinswood Hill 75 times over just 60 hours and a variety of local supporters came and did some of the laps with him to help keep him going. He raised £21,000 taking the total the family had raised to the £60,000 target they needed to take Charlotte for that life-changing operation in America.
In 2017 James took on another mammoth challenge, this time the Welsh 3000; a walk taking in 15 mountain peaks and their aim was to complete this in just 24 hours. James pulled together a team of 10 adventurers and they set out in glorious weather. Sadly the weather turned and they had to stop halfway through the challenge as it was no longer safe to continue but despite this, they have managed to raise enough money for the equipment needed and just before Christmas 2017 Charlotte received the Litegait Trainer, harness and treadmill at home to support her progress.
In addition to these two mammoth fundraising efforts, James and Kate have organised all manner of fundraising events such as fashion shows, quizzes and curry nights and even encouraged Charlotte to follow her own ideas, selling apples and pears from the fruit trees in the garden. All this is done on top of looking after Charlotte, including a 45-minute exercise regime before breakfast, as well as looking after their 2 other children, running the family home and being outstanding members of the community. James was chair of the local Round Table and organised the Santa Sleigh fundraiser for them in 2016.
I have followed their story in the newspaper like many locals in the community but in September 2017 Charlotte became one of my Brownies and the scale of what the family have done and been through really hit home. Charlotte has inspired the Brownies so much but in turn, her parents also inspire me week after week at how supportive they are of Charlotte, of the local community and how nothing seems to get them down. With three young children, life is not easy and it would be fantastic to see them recognised for the wonderful job they are doing in caring for their family.
For more information about Charlotte's journey, including the many fundraising efforts James and Kate have undertaken, visit Charlotte's Angels Facebook Page
Nominator: Anne Anderson
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