Local fundraiser Rachel Clark has won the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year award in the Institute of Fundraising's national awards, in recognition of her work raising more than £55,000 for cancer counselling charity We Hear You (WHY). Rachel said
"I'm overwhelmed, to be honest! I was up against such high calibre charities and fundraisers who all deserved to win - just being shortlisted was incredible, but I really didn't expect to be recognised like this. Year after year the phenomenal support of the community is behind me - every time I think they'll run out of enthusiasm they prove me wrong. It goes without saying that I couldn't do any of it without that support and a huge team of people who help with planning and organising events, including my brothers Daniel and Matthew, the team at WHY, so many people."
It's the anniversary of my mum's death today, so it's especially poignant to hear about the award now - she's the inspiration for all of it and I have no intention of stopping - there's so much more to do!"
WHY's director Melissa Hillier said:
"I was so delighted to hear that Rachel Clark has won the prestigious Institute of Fundraising's Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award - what an amazing achievement for a truly amazing person! Rachel has raised more than £55,000 since 2011, funding £1,250 counselling sessions for children and adults affected by cancer and life-threatening conditions in Somerset, B&NES and Wiltshire. Just as importantly, she's a true ambassador for WHY, raising awareness of the support we offer and using her seemingly endless drive, energy and gift for communicating to raise our profile and inspire others to get involved."
"It's fantastic that today's announcement coincides with a busy day for Rachel as a volunteer fundraiser, as she invites some of the 5,000 people who joined her in her '365 for WHY' mile-a-day challenge in 2019 to run a 'virtual reunion mile'. It isn't coincidental that it's happening today - all Rachel's fundraising is a tribute to her mum Shirley, who sadly died of leukaemia on this day in 2011, so today's event, like 365 for WHY, 2018's world record-breaking rowathon, cycle challenges and more is in her memory.
Well done Rachel and thank you so very much for all your fundraising and awareness-raising for our charity - it means the world to us and more importantly to those who need our support.
More about the awards and the full list of winners and nominees can be found at https://www.new.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/awards/home.
To find out more about We Hear You's free professional counselling service for people affected by cancer and life-threatening conditions, including Covid-19, please email email@example.com or call 01373 455255.