2020 Finalists DAY 3: Volunteer, Sporting, Local Fundraiser & Kate Granger Awards

It's Day Three and today we highlight finalists from our Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Local Fundraiser, and Kate Granger categories. Well done to everyone that was nominated and we can't wait to announce the winners Friday 2nd July on our social platforms.


Volunteer of the Year

Sponsored by Evallance


Aky & Tina Suryanvansi

Aky and Tina are full-time professional workers; Aky works for Macmillan Cancer Support and Tina works for the NHS. They dedicate most of their free time to volunteering. They run the non-profit organisation, Homeless Hampers. In which they spend their time after work picking up and sorting donations or picking up food and distributing it to different shelters and all of their Sundays are dedicated to the outreach.


They are also passionate about organ donation awareness as their son was born with kidney failure and both of them have donated a kidney to their son (Tina in 2004 and Aky in 2015). They’ve been campaigning for organ donation for around 10 years and have both recently become ambassadors for organ donation.


Brian Smart

Brian is Head Coach at Brighouse Swimming Club. He dedicates 4 evenings a week and most weekends to training, coaching, supporting, and developing hundreds of children and juggles this with his full-time working commitments.


The Club comprises swimmers of all abilities from those just learning to swim to those competing up to national level and Brian is instrumental in that journey. His passion, dedication, and commitment are exemplary. Every swimmer respects him as a coach and loves him as a person - he genuinely cares about each and every swimmer. When our 12-year-old daughter was knocked over by a car and broke both legs, in a wheelchair for over 2 months, Brian was crucial in helping her recovery from a physical as well as mental point of view – he is her inspiration.


Stevie Morley

Stevie Morley Stevie runs mental health support groups for adults and children called Take Ten and Take Ten Youths. The group supports families of those who have attempted and completed suicide. Stevie herself suffers from a range of mental health issues, including depression. Putting aside her own battles, every day she gets up and puts herself out there to help anyone who might need it. She and her group raise awareness and provide support for people every single day, no matter how bad they might be feeling themselves.


It's all voluntary and she and her group do their own fundraising to ensure they can continue the service. She's a legend who helps people at the lowest point of their lives, particularly those who have been unable to access support via the Mental Health Teams. She also gets herself and her team members out on the road to stop people from ending their lives through suicide.


Faye Knowles Chapman Foundation

The Faye Knowles Chapman Foundation was set up by Cheryl Ambler after grieving for a friend Faye who she lost to Cervical Cancer at an extremely young age. Since then, Cheryl, some of Faye's family, and some amazing volunteers have worked tirelessly in the community, with individuals, and with NHS GP practices to raise awareness of Cervical Cancer and campaigning to get the minimum age for screening lowered. Their work is under-recognised and a spotlight on the amazing things they do will really help them in their mission.


Sporting Achievement of the Year

Sponsored by Wetherby Whaler


Headingley AFC

In 2013, a Headingley AFC (HAFC) player took their own life after suffering from a gambling addiction. Since then, HAFC has formed a close relationship with the charity Gambling with Lives and became the first English club with a shirt sponsor warning of the dangers of gambling. Every year, a charity event is held in the player’s name (Lewis Keogh Memorial Day) which brings old and new players together to celebrate his life and raise thousands for the charity. The BBC and ITV have paid particular attention over the years and the club is so proud to help raise awareness of such an important issue. Although maybe not on the pitch, the club should be recognised for this achievement.


Leeds Rhino's Women's Team

These sporting heroes Leeds Rhinos Women deserve to be recognised, they are at the top of their game. The team is part of the Leeds Rhinos club and plays in the Women's Super League.


They are the current (2019) RFL Women's Super League champions and RFL Women's Challenge Cup holders, after beating Castleford Tigers in both finals, 16–10 in the Challenge Cup final on 27 July 2019 and 20–12 in the Super League Grand Final on 11 October 2019.

The team was formed in September 2017 with the aid of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation. In the team's first season, they won the Women's Challenge Cup in August 2018.


They successfully retained their title, after beating Castleford Tigers 16–10 in July 2019; in a repeat of 2018 final, and in October they beat Castleford again to win the Grand Final. A well-deserved win and nomination for this award!


Paul Burluraux & Andrew Roebuck

On Monday 16 August 1954 Alan Roebuck and his 7 companions David Senior, Douglas Blackhall, Harry Noble, Geoffrey Taylor, Ian Greaves, Glyn Webster, and Brian Hutton departed from Huddersfield in an ex-army truck heading to Rome. 65 years on Andrew Roebuck and Paul Burluraux cycled 1300 miles in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research. The pair took on the route from London to Rome, in under 2 weeks travelling through Calais, Lyon, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Menton, Genoa, Pisa and finally arriving at their destination Rome.


The challenge was an effort to raise funds for a charity that is seeking to prevent suffering and improve the quality of life for many thousands of individuals and their families.


Stephen Bannister

Stephen decided to celebrate his 30th birthday in September 2018 by raising £30,000 for Help For Heroes, a charity launched to help provide better facilities for British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty. He considers himself fortunate in life and, having served in The Royal Marines, wanted to give something back.


Accordingly, he launched his “Run For 30” Campaign where he competes and completes at least two races or events every month. These range from fun mud runs to Ironman Triathlons. His achievements are outstanding. He has encouraged and inspired others to join him and has never wavered in his efforts.



Local Fundraiser of the Year

Sponsored by Yorkshire Payments


Alice Johnson

Alice decided to celebrate her 21st birthday by completing challenge after challenge in order to fundraise money for 3 different charities. She has faced her fear of heights through sky diving and pushed her limits completing the Yorkshire 3 peaks, coast to coast bike ride and running a marathon, with another marathon and more challenges still to come!


She also cut her hair and donated it to Little Princess Trust in order to make not 1 but 2 wigs! She’s continuously adding more challenges to try and fundraise even more money for these amazing charities.


Disability Support Calderdale

The group from Disability Support Calderdal work with people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, they attend benefit-related tribunals and medicals and by the end of September 2019 recouped £903,334 for the people that use the service in Calderdale.

They work with people who are in crisis, have benefit and housing issues and they offer drop-in meetings at Hebden Bridge, Todmorden Health Centre, Cornholme Old Library, Todmorden Old Library and Halifax.


DSC supports people at tribunals and medicals and recently won payment for a lady with Multiple Sclerosis of £75,000. This organisation has contributed greatly to the local economy and to the health and wellbeing of Calderdale residents and is a very worthy nominee for how they have supported so many individuals.


Little Friends of Roundhay Park

A group of mums united to do something about the unsafe condition of the Roundhay Park playground in Leeds, seven months later they raised £150k to build a new one. Dubbed ‘Mums on a mission’ by the YEP and Look North, they raised enough money to build Roundhay Park’s first fully-inclusive playground in time for Christmas.


There are now playground appeals in Adel, Meanwood, Chapel Allerton and Horsforth. The mums are currently raising money to build a large children’s garden next to Tropical World and the first-ever children’s adventure trails in Roundhay Park. This year they launched a monthly programme of forest schools, litter picks, forest craft workshops and working parties in the park and have a large following on social media.


Zoe Darcy

Zoe Darcy is such an amazing lady, she raises her 2-year-old grandson and has done since birth, her grandson Daniel suffers from an incurable disease called mitochondrial disease. Zoe has raised her own children and now dedicates her life to beautiful Daniel, that is 24hr care. She is always thinking of supporting others as well as dedicating her life to caring for Daniel, she organises events in the community to fundraise for things for Daniel and other children.


The last event they raised money for Daniel and were also able to raise money for 5 other children with mitochondrial disease.


Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Contribution

Sponsored by Yorkshire Payments


Ben Moorhouse & Gaynor Thompson

Ben & Gaynor go above and beyond, putting their heart & soul into anything they do. Ben has walked around the entire island of Rhodes in Greece for the Steve Prescott Foundation, completing the walk in under 48 hours. Ben and Gaynor are now raising money for a new maternity bereavement suite at Calderdale Royal Hospital, where sadly in October last year their baby girl was stillborn at 38 weeks. Ben is raising the money so that there can be a separate area for people who are suffering a stillbirth or have suffered an infant bereavement can spend as much time with loved ones as they need.

Ben and Gaynor also wish others to avoid the situation that they found themselves when Gaynor was labouring but could still hear newborn babies crying just down the ward from them.

Ben and Gaynor have bravely turned their sadness into positivity in order to help others in similar situations. Ben has also set up areas for a first-dads support group for dads who have lost babies. The couple has raised over £22,000 in just ten months for a new maternity bereavement suite at Calderdale Royal Infirmary in the name of their daughter.


Dan Morton

Dan has raised thousands of pounds in aid of Leeds Cares, he raises awareness and offers support to children and their families who are suffering from brain-related injuries at Leeds General Infirmary. At age 10 years old, Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2014.


After an 11 hour surgery, the tumour was successfully removed but a week later results showed that the tumour was a high-grade cancer and Daniel was given a terminal diagnosis. Later that year he had another tumour removed. After having 2 years of clear scans, Daniel was told there was another tumour and was to undergo further surgery. Sadly this surgery has left him with severe side effects, causing damage to his nerves and issues with mobility on his right side. Daniel has now taught himself to write and draw, a passion of his, with his left hand. A testament to his resilience, determination and character. Daniel had another 2 years clear but in August 2018, he was told that he had another tumour and had surgery for the 4th time. Daniel continues many fundraising activities all whilst fighting his own battle and living with his daily challenges.


Jacqui Drake

Jacqui Drake was first diagnosed with cancer in 1993 and lived cancer-free until she was diagnosed with secondary cancer in 2009. Today, Jacqui continues to receive treatment at Leeds Cancer Centre but is now terminally ill with stage 4 malignant melanoma. Jacqui has defied the odds and is still fighting more than nine years on from diagnosis. In return for the fantastic care she’s received, Jacqui joined forces with Leeds Cares to launch her appeal, ‘Jacqui’s Million – positive about cancer’ hoping to raise £1 million. She’s now raised over £170,000 through spectacular fundraising events and sales of ‘positivity merchandise.’ Jacqui is a very determined lady and will keep fundraising for as long as she can!


Yorkshire Ambulance Restart

A Heart Team

The Restart a Heart campaign started in Yorkshire in 2014 by The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust offering all secondary schools in Yorkshire the opportunity to receive free CPR training for pupils on Restart a Heart Day (on or around 16 October). The team visited 49 schools and taught CPR to 11,500 youngsters – with the help of hundreds of voluntary trainers, mostly off-duty staff and community first responders. The event has continued to go from strength to strength; in the last six years on Restart a Heart Day they have taught life-saving skills to an incredible 151,000 youngsters at 72% of Yorkshire’s secondary schools. The young people have learned CPR with real-life case studies of survivors of cardiac arrest being saved by the students.


In 2016 the life-saving initiative, pioneered in Yorkshire, was rolled out to all UK ambulance services and two years later was adopted by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation to encourage mass CPR training on a global scale under a World Restart a Heart Day banner. Participating countries included America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India and many others across Europe. Now a global campaign we have a lot to thank the Yorkshire Ambulance team of volunteers because without their educating the next generation less lives would have been saved.

Winners announced Friday 2nd July 2021 on our social media platforms!

If you have reached our finalist stage congratulations! Fancy attending our 2022 awards to be presented with your certificate by one of our sponsors on our red carpet or receive your winner's award on stage please contact us to book your tickets events@yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk


We would like to thank everyone for their support during these unprecedented times and we wish you all the very best of luck ahead of our special announcement.


2020 Finalists DAY 1: New Starter, Independent Business, Business Woman & Business Man Awards

2020 Finalists DAY 2: Customer Service, Charitable Business, Inspirational & Young Achiever Awards

Disclaimer: All information provided for the biographies above were submitted during the nomination process between June 2019 and November 2019. Yorkshire Choice is not responsible for any errors or omissions.