JustGiving Winners – Tears & Smiles

Logo: Just Giving Awards 2016, sponsored by PayPal

Tissues at the ready! The seventh annual JustGiving Awards, held on November 22 in London, celebrated some amazing people, charities and teams who threw themselves into fundraising for causes close to their hearts in 2016.

Zarine Kharas, chief executive and co-founder of JustGiving, said:

“Every one of our finalists has an amazing story to tell. We give to friends and family, to colleagues and neighbours, to honour memories, celebrate survivors and light up hope. And thanks to technology, more of us give to complete strangers than ever before, because we have been moved by their story.

Through our amazing finalists and their inspiring stories, we can see the power and impact human connections can have on good causes.”

This year’s winners are…

Creative Fundraiser of the Year – Mac McDermott

Mac’s dad Teddy used to travel the country singing in clubs. He now has Alzheimer’s. His memory has deteriorated, but singing really helps him. By sharing videos of his dad singing his favourite hits in their very own carpool karaoke, Mac McDermott and his dad #songaminuteman have raised £100,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Endurance Fundraiser of the Year – Natalia Spencer

Natalia's daughter Elizabeth, a happy blonde 5-year-old girl cuddling a soft toy

Natalia’s daughter Elizabeth

Natalia’s five-year-old daughter Elizabeth died last December. Natalia has fond memories of taking her daughter to the seaside. She’s walking the entire 6,000 miles of British coastline to raise money for the hospital which cared for Elizabeth.

Fundraising Team of the Year – Emmy and Jake

Emmy and Jake look delighted to receive their award

Emmy and Jake receive their award

Emmy and Jake are childhood sweethearts, who just six months after getting back together were given the heartbreaking news that Emmy had incurable cancer. They are spending Emmy’s remaining time raising funds for the nurses at the Royal Marsden Hospital. They have raised £75,000 cycling a tandem to Copenhagen.

Young Fundraiser of the Year – Lyla Brown

Lyla Brown, aged 5, in a red raincoat

Lyla asked for buckets of water

Lyla was saddened by the number of children in developing countries with no access to clean drinking water. So… she asked her mum for buckets of water for her fifth birthday. Her parents told her about the charity Water Aid and she asked for donations instead of presents, which raised almost £1,700.

Outstanding Commitment to Fundraising – Rhian Burke

Rhian Burke, outdoors, looking pensive and holding a cuddly toy

Rhian at one of the many fundraisers she has organised

The sudden loss of Rhian’s 12-month-old son, George, and five days later the death of her husband, Paul, exposed her to the lack of bereavement support for parents. She set up 2 Wish Upon A Star to raise funds and ensure that other families received proper support.

The JustGiving #LifeChanger Award – Nicole Sedgebeer

Selfie of Nicole Sedgebeer and Mark, her good Samaritan

Nicole has repaid Mark, her good Samaritan

When Nicole missed her last train home Mark stepped in to help. Mark, who is homeless, took Nicole to a cafe where she’d be safe and also made sure she got the first train home the next day. Nicole has raised over £13,000 to thank Mark and help get him back on his feet.

PayPal Crowdfunder of the Year – Adam Johnson

Paypal Crowdfunder of the Year logo and photo of Derry in a wheelchair at a football game

Adam swung into action to help Derry

Derry is paralysed from the neck down, and uses tailored computer equipment to enable him to use his laptop. When his equipment was stolen in a burglary, Adam started crowdfunding to replace everything that was taken.

Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year – Jodie Kidd

3 action images of Jodie Kidd in sports gear and slogan: Challenge Kiddo. 3 Missions, 1 Objective

Jodie pushed herself to the limit to raise money for Help for Heroes by cycling 567 miles and climbing 19,341 feet with wounded, injured and sick veterans. Jodie has raised more than £22,000 to help veterans coping with anxiety and depression. Her campaign will continue until December 2017 with more challenges ahead.

Special Recognition Award – Carey Lander

Carey Lander, a stylish young woman in dark framed glasses and red lipstick

Carey wanted to help other sufferers

In 2011, Carey Lander, the keyboard player and vocalist for Camera Obscura, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. When the cancer returned in August 2015, she launched a JustGiving page to “raise a bit of cash to help others in a similar situation.”  Within weeks it had become Sarcoma UK’s largest ever single appeal.

She dedicated the last few months of her life to raising awareness of osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer that mostly affects teenagers and young people. On her JustGiving Page, Carey spoke candidly about the disease and her motivation to help others.

It’s probably too late to help me, but it would be great if we could find something in the future that means children don’t have to undergo such awful treatment and have a better chance of survival.”

Carey passed away in October, 2015 having raised £50,000, a figure that has since more than doubled to £130,000, inspiring donations from more than 50 countries around the world.

More About JustGiving

JustGiving was voted Best Giving Platform by the charity members of the Institute of Fundraising in 2014 and 2015. It has enabled 29 million people across 164 countries to raise more than $4.2 billion since it launched in 2001.

This year’s awards received a record 14,000 nominations and more than 110,000 people voted.

As a tech-for-good company, JustGiving charges a small fee on donations. However all of this is re-invested into developing world-class technology and innovative tools to fulfil its mission – which is to connect people with the causes they care about.

Want to read more Caring and Sharing stories? 

Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!