The Hotter Community Awards – part of the Amazing Women Awards 2019 – all involve brilliant women getting things done around the country. The Going the Extra Mile for Charity Award recognises amazing individuals who raised thousands for important causes.
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Below are the three nominees:
GOING THE EXTRA MILE FOR CHARITY AWARD
1. Ann Atkins, 55: the rower raising money for a brain tumour charity
Ann is the founder of Row For It, an annual event raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. She began indoor rowing to support the charity after her daughter Iona was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of five in 2007, and since her first Row For It event in 2013, has gone on to raise £120,000 while setting a number of British records.
Ann says, “I first came across the charity when Iona was diagnosed and I began fundraising. A few years later, a trainer at my local gym noticed I was quite good on the indoor rowing machine and started taking me to competitions. I ended up winning the World Championships.
“I knew I wanted to use this new-found talent to fundraise so I launched Row For It. My motivation to keep raising money is not just for the sake of my daughter but for anyone affected by this terrible disease.”
Hilary McNally, who nominated Ann, says, “Ann has done an incredible amount of fundraising while winning gold at the English and British Indoor Rowing Championships, and rowing a marathon to mark her 50th birthday. She does all of this while still being an amazing mum to Iona, now 17.”
2. Lynn Whitnall, 55: the wildlife champion who challenges herself for charity
Lynn is CEO of Paradise Wildlife Park and a trustee of Zoological Society of Hertfordshire, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation and The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent. She has personally raised in excess of £200,000 for these foundations and many other good causes, including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Marie Curie.
Lynn says, “To me, there is no better feeling than being able to help others, whether the recipient of the funds I raise be human, animal or conservation-based. I am extremely honoured to be nominated for this award.
“I love keeping fit and, although I go to the gym, to go for a long run on a bright crisp morning and see all of the wildlife foraging inspires me to keep doing what I do.”
Carly Taylor, who nominated Lynn, says, “While running a park with 800 animals, 150 staff and 300,000 visitors, Lynn has brought up three boys and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for great causes. In 2004, while battling breast cancer, she ran her first London Marathon in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness, and since then, her list of amazing charity challenges has soared.
“To date these include 15 consecutive London Marathons, a Channel Swim, two triathlons, five half marathons, three Thames swims, trekking through the Sumatran rainforest with the Tiger Patrol Unit, up Kilimanjaro and to Everest Base Camp. Lynn is small and modest but extremely mighty, so it is only right that I should share what an amazing, inspirational lady she is.”
3. Julie Robinson, 58: the woman raising money for breast cancer in memory of lost family members
Julie has lost three sisters-in-law to breast cancer. Twenty years ago, when she lost her sister-in-law Louise, she vowed to her on her deathbed that she would raise £1,000 for the charity that supported her through her struggle with the disease. Julie has since raised over £1 million for the charity Breast Cancer Now.
Julie says, “When Louise asked me to raise £1,000 to aid research into breast cancer, I couldn’t say no. With a group of friends, we organised a charity ball, where Louise danced the night away and raised £7,000.
“Just four months later she died, aged 44. Raising awareness and funds for the charity has become a lifetime mission.”
Beth Rees, who nominated Julie, says, “Julie’s efforts for Breast Cancer Now are incredible and deserve recognition. She has far outstripped her promised total and last year celebrated reaching the £1 million mark.”
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