Couple honoured for raising £80k after grandson’s inspiring cancer battle

Pride of Reading 2019

Generous David and Julia Eversham have won a Pride of Reading Award for raising more than £80,000 for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice

Grandparents who were inspired to start fundraising by their grandson as he battled leukaemia have been honoured for their efforts.

David and Julia Eversham, who have raised more than £80,000 to help children in Berkshire, were named Fundraisers of the Year at the Pride of Reading Awards.

The couple from Earley raised enough money in five years to pay for 2,200 hours of care in the community.

They were nominated by Fiona Devine, chief executive at the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, who wrote: “Their dedication, passion and generosity for our cause knows no bounds and we would love them to be recognised for all their selfless and hard work with a Pride of Reading award.

“Since David and Julia started supporting our charity five years ago they have given us a phenomenal amount of their time and made an enormous difference to us within the Reading community. We simply could not do without them!

“They are extremely passionate about their work, not only because the hospice makes a huge difference to local Reading children but, as they so often say, it could so easily have been them who needed the care, compassion, love and provision.”

Julia, 68, and David, 72, celebrated a Pride of Reading success back in 2010, when their grandson George Major won the Child of Courage Award. It’s George – who battled leukaemia – that inspired them to start their fundraising journey.

He went on to win a Pride of Britain Award in 2011 for his incredible fundraising efforts while he was undergoing treatment.

George, who is now 15 years old joined his grandparents on stage to collect their award from host Chris Tarrant.

And the couple also had a special message from former Prime Minister Theresa May thanking them for their efforts.

Julia said: “I feel very blessed. It’s been a wonderful journey, and the support that we have received has been so uplifting.”

David said: “We’ve supported other charities before and we find so much enthusiasm, so much dedication to the hospice, and the fact that they value everything you do whether it’s something large or something small and they are just a wonderful set of people to work with.

Julia said: “Working with Alexander Devine is like having a second family.”

David explained: “We got into it because of George really.”

Julia said: “We’re blessed to have a healthy grandchild. It could have been a different story so it’s a complete privilege to put something back.”

“He’s just a typical 15-year-old loving life, a 6ft 2in teenager embracing everything life has to offer.”

David continued: “He’s so fit and well now and that’s the main thing.”

Julia added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our friends who have supported our events time and time again. Ten years is a long time for people to be behind us but we could never have achieved what we have without that amazing support and the encouragement from Alexander Devine and other charities.”

David said: “There is also a small team of people who come along every time to help with our fundraising, we’ve had people who have been with us from the start who had to leave for various reasons but we value them completely because they are very much a part of this journey and this award is theirs too.”

Pride Of Reading Awards Winners

The couple have vowed to continue and have a number of events already in the pipeline for next year.

Julia added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the people of Reading who have come along to our events and supported us and thank you so much for nominating us, it’s just an amazing day for us.  And very nostalgic, we saw a picture of George with Chris Tarrant, when he was six years old.”

The Fundraiser of the Year Award is sponsored by Cream.

The awards were held on Friday, November 8 at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre in Reading, Berkshire.

News from Berkshire Live

Written by Louise

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