As a teenager Andy Baker had no idea that a one-off charity football tournament was just the start of an emotional journey that would help change the lives of thousands of people.
He can’t quite believe that 10 years ago yesterday he and a friend founded Play2Give, a fundraising group that has raised more than £60,000 for charity.
It all started with a football tournament in 2007 raising money for Oxford Children’s Hospital.
And this year he has been the driving force behind a record-breaking year that peaked with his personal proudest moment – being awarded a British Citizen Award for his non-stop fundraising.
His ‘baby’ has gone from strength to strength and is looking to smash this year’s goal of raising £10,000 in its 10th year.
The 29-year-old former St Birinus School pupil, who described the milestone as a ‘dream’, said: “When I formed P2G 10 years ago never did I imagine that it would have become the true success story that it has today.
“Never did I think P2G would still be going a whole decade later – from what was just a single event back then as a football tournament to the ever-growing fundraising organisation that we are today.”
Andy suffered a brain injury as a baby and had brain surgery again aged 12 and has used his own experience as motivation.
More than half a dozen charities have benefitted from his fundraising efforts but his two main benefactors – Headway Oxfordshire and Oxford Children’s Hospital – have helped him negotiate the troubles of living with brain injuries.
His condition can lead to severe headaches, extreme tiredness and an uncomfortable loss of balance – but this hasn’t held him back.
Andy added: “P2G is only here today thanks to everyone who has got involved, been involved with or donated, or sponsored in some way.”