It may have been a cold winter’s night, but there was nothing but warm smiles and good cheer on Thursday 8 February, as participants, sponsors and supporters all came together to celebrate their amazing fundraising efforts of the past year and seven supreme challengers received an award for their particularly outstanding achievements in 2017.
The celebration was hosted by long-term corporate supporters, Fuller’s, at their Hock Cellar, Griffin Brewery in Chiswick. Providing complimentary drinks and canapes, Fuller’s also gave brewery tours, with Managing Director Jonathan Swaine welcoming guests to the venue.
Shooting Star Chase Acting CEO Piers Vimpany, addressed the attendees, recognising the fantastic challenge successes of last year which included a record breaking London Marathon and Sunrise Walk. Thanking them for their support and describing the impact their work has on children with life-limiting conditions, and their families he then went on to begin the eagerly anticipated awards.
And the winners were:
Most Influential Challenger 2017 – Steph Nimmo
Inspirational mum, runner, tri-athlete, warrior, author, blogger and campaigner. Steph’s youngest daughter Daisy was born with Costello Syndrome. The family have been supported through our care services, but sadly, on 31st January 2017 at the age of 12, her daughter passed away. Just over a year before, in December 2015, she had lost her husband.
She first started running for Shooting Star Chase in 2007. Since this time, she has taken part in several marathons, ultra-marathons and numerous other running events and more recently tri-athlons, to raise money and awareness for Shooting Star Chase. She has been the face of many campaigns for Shooting Star Chase, written various articles for the media and even spoken at the House of Lords. In 2008, she began writing her blog “Was This in the Plan” about her family’s life, which is hugely insightful and helpful for other parents, who are facing similar issues. Her book by the same name was published in 2017.
Outstanding Commitment to Challenges 2017 – Dave Jackson
From 4am starts to standing outside in the pouring rain for hours, nothing stops Dave Jackson getting the best images he can for Shooting Star Chase.
Since supporting Shooting Star Chase he has now volunteered behind the camera at 30 Challenge Events including: 5 x Sunrise Walks, 2 x Hospice2Hospice Bike Rides, 5 x London Marathons, 2 x Stair Climbs, 5 x Royal Park Half Marathon and 5 Ride 100 – one being in torrential rain for hours on end! In 2017 he provided 1,000’s of photos, capturing our event participants as they ran, walked, cycled and climbed.
Challenge Team of the Year 2017 – WSM
WSM started fundraising for Shooting Star Chase in January 2017 and since the start of the corporate partnership, staff threw themselves into activities and signed up to events from the Tower Run to the Santa SkyWalk, as well individuals taking part in the Ride100 cycling event.
In 2017 the team climbed 848 steps, cycled 100 miles, walked 20km, walked over hot coals at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and swung through the trees dressed as Santa. Raising over £9,000 for Shooting Star Chase over 2017.
Ultimate Challenger 2017 – Team Elsie
Husband and wife duo, Holly and Martin Poole, who, along with their network of friends raise money in memory of their daughter who was supported by our Guildford Hospice, Christopher’s. Their daughter sadly died in January 2013, and they decided they wanted to raise an incredible £161,000 – this was the cost of a week when their daughter used Shooting Star Chase’s services.
Over the years this incredible group of people have arranged cake sales, taken part in the Sunrise Walk, organised quiz nights and taken on many physical challenges.
In 2017 alone they completed 9 marathons, 2 half marathons, 2 Ride100’s and organised their 2nd Rainbow Fun Run, which had an incredible 222 participants take part. The team have now raised over £117,000 for us with over £21,000 of this from their 2017 physical challenges.
Young Fundraiser of the Year 2017 – Charlie Pickles
One of our youngest participants in the Sunrise Walk last year, Charlie walked with his father and his father’s colleagues in a team of 30 walkers!
Setting off at 4.30am, this young man and his father walked through Teddington, Bushy Park, Hampton Court Palace, Kingston, Ham Village, Richmond Park, Richmond Hill, finally making their way back down to Ham House, and completing their 20k walk.
Combining his fundraising efforts with his father, he raised a total of £626.25 for Shooting Star Chase.
Challenger of the Year 2017 – As voted by the public – Natasha Howard
2017 saw hundreds of brave people take on an array of gruelling challenges to raise money for Shooting Star Chase. Every month an individual or team is selected who has shown outstanding and/or continued support of Shooting Star Chase.
The Challenger of the Month automatically become a nominee for Challenger of the Year and so in January Shooting Star Chase turned to the public to select the overall champion to be crowned as the Challenger of the Year 2017.
Since a young age our winner has always had the urge to explore the world. Natasha’s cycling challenge saw her cycle approximately 4,500km along the length of Japan and South Korea. It was a very testing cycle – the mountains were huge and never ending. Once in South Korea she finished her challenge in Seoul. Each day in South Korea she cycled approximately 150km in 40°c heat, whilst battling some of the world’s craziest drivers!
She completed her adventure in two and a half months and has raised £870 for Shooting Star Chase.
Special Recognition – Francesca and David Clarke
This year Shooting Star Chase would like to recognise two individuals for their support, not only in 2017 but for the last 10 years.
Francesca and David Clarke have been supporting Shooting Star Chase’s London Marathon runners with advice and guidance since 2008. This includes leading monthly training runs in Richmond Park, whatever the weather!
This fantastic support has been extended to the Ride 100 team, since this event started in 2013. They first ran for our charity in April 2008, when Francesca contacted us a week before the London Marathon to say that she and her husband had their own places and wanted to run for Shooting Star Chase. After the event, they offered to help with training our runners. The rest is history!
If you feel inspired to take on a challenge event to raise money for Shooting Star Chase, check our list of events!