On Tuesday 20 November, I climbed back on board another minibus with my fellow 5in55 family. This time though, our destination was London for the annual Just Giving Awards where we were in the final three nominees for the Fundraising Team of the Year Award.
The journey up was full of laughs and banter as the crew was back together, looking forward to joining more of our team and missing the ones who could not make it. As we arrived at the venue and entered the room it all started to become real. We were at the National Annual Awards for the biggest fundraising platform in the world.
As I watched awards being presented and hearing so many inspirational stories, I could not help but feel nervous, even though the guys were already winners in so many people’s eyes. I had seen how much effort they had given to our challenge and the commitment they had shown and I knew how much winning would mean to them.
As our category came up I could barely look at the guys. As we watched the other incredible nominees, my nerves grew as we drew closer to finding out the winner.
There stood Shaun Stafford with the envelope and as he opened it and said: ‘I hope I pronounce this correctly’, the dads and I knew we had won and as he read out our name, the guys were already getting up from their chairs.
The joy in their faces made every moment of planning and training worth it. Our 5in55 team had just taken the award for The Best Fundraising Team in the UK. As we all hugged I could see the emotion in the guys just pouring out, the smiles and teared up eyes as we headed to the stage for the biggest group hug. There we were, being recognised for our achievement and as I stood and gave our acceptance speech, all I could see was the guys’ faces.
My idea and vision for the challenge had just been realised and it was all down to these amazing and inspiring men stood with me who have helped me show other dads out there that no matter what your mountain is, you can climb it and overcome anything.