On Thursday 19th September, friends, ambassadors, sponsors and supporters of The Buddy Bag Foundation came together at the Harvestfields Centre in Sutton Coldfield to celebrate both the brilliant achievements of key fundraisers in the Buddy Bag Foundation this year and reaching the unbelievable milestone of recently packing our 20,200th Buddy Bag, a whole year earlier than the anticipated goal of achieving this by 2020.
A drinks reception and the chance to mingle with friends old and new kicked the night off in style, along with a warm welcome from Buddy Bags Chris Williams explaining the amazing work BBF do within the community and Harvestfields Manager Sam Cozens, welcoming us all to the Centre.
After celebrating the fantastic milestone of recently packing our 20,200th Buddy Bag, guests were treated to a recorder concert performed by pupils of Shrubbery School.
The awards ceremony began with an emotional introduction by Paul Mabbett, from Truly Financial who explained his own personal reasons for wanting to become involved with The Buddy Bag Foundation. He presented the “Volunteer of the Year” award, firstly to our runner ups – DMS Whittington Barracks and the winners, Traci and Chris Valentine, Paul Roberts and Julie Plummer who completed a Burpees challenge back in August, raising an incredible £2619. One burpee was demonstrated to the audience showing just how energetic this activity was and how much of a feat this challenge must have been.
Hayley Baxter, from Pathways Project, a women’s refuge in Lichfield who see first hand what a lasting difference Buddy Bags make then presented the “Ambassador of the Year” award. Hayley spoke movingly about Pathways and the work they do, enlightening the audience of the importance of domestic refuges. Our runner up for Ambassador of the Year was Sue Roberts and our winner was John Wilson, both of whom have done incredible work for BBF this year.
Our “Going the extra mile” award this year was presented by Harriet Burford from Gateley and recognised some truly inspiring achievements. Runner up was awarded to Roger Hall, who raised £936 by trekking to Everest Base Camp and winner this year was the amazing Sylvia Keris, who raised £1500 walking 145 miles from Birmingham to London. These individuals certainly took “going the extra mile” literally!
“Top individual fundraiser” for 2019, presented by Karen Moores, Senior Partner at Sydney Mitchell Solicitors was won by Heather Gordon and runner up, Carrie Jahn, who unfortunately couldn’t be with us. Both these amazing ladies have raised an enormous amount of money for BBF this year, via a number of fundraising events.
Solicitors Sydney Mitchell were proud runners up of our next award, “Corporate Partner of the Year”. Winners were Gowling International Law Firm, who continue to be a huge supporters of the Buddy Bag Foundation. These awards were presented by Mrs Regency International and Diamond UK 2019 winner, Leigh, who gave a passionate speech on her involvement with the Buddy Bag Foundation and a brief insight to her personal history which touched every single audience member.
Our last award, our “Making a Difference” award, presented by, Chris Williams was awarded to runners up National Express, who unfortunately couldn’t be with us and worthy winners BNI, the Business Networking Organisation.