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The Big Bamboo Agency sponsors the Rob Burrow Award at 2022 Yorkshire Choice Awards

A Harrogate PR and marketing consultancy is helping to raise awareness of motor neurone disease by sponsoring a new category at the 2022 Yorkshire Choice Awards.

The Big Bamboo Agency has put its name to the Rob Burrow Award, which celebrates individuals, young people and groups who have helped to raise awareness and vital funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

The Agency was inspired to sponsor the award in recognition of the support the MNDA gave Director Debbie Howard and her family during her mum’s illness.

MND affects around two in every 100,000 people in the UK each year and there are about 5,000 people living with the condition in the UK at any one time. It is usually diagnosed in people over 40, but most people with the condition first develop symptoms in their 60s. It affects slightly more men than women.

The award is named in honour of rugby league legend Rob Burrow, who in 2019 at the age of 37 revealed he had been diagnosed with MND. A year later, he was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honour’s List for his services to rugby league and the motor neurone disease community.

Fundraising in honour of the former Leeds Rhinos, England and Great Britain player – who this summer accepted an invitation from the Motor Neurone Disease Association to become a Patron – has reached almost £3 million.

Debbie said: “The MNDA offered us fantastic support when Mum was ill. Since her death in 2013, we have continued to take part in fundraising activities as a family, including a tandem ride from London to York and a 3,000-squats-in-a-month challenge. When The Big Bamboo Agency was asked if it would consider becoming an award sponsor, the Rob Burrow Award leapt out. Rob has done so much to raise awareness of MND and it is a pleasure and privilege to have our name associated with this award.”

Rob and Lindsey Burrow said: “We are absolutely honoured to have this award named after Rob to celebrate the inspiring people who have given their time to support people affected by MND. This is a lovely gesture that will hopefully raise further awareness and funds for the MND Association.”

Melanie Malcolm & Jo Maltby, co-founders of The Yorkshire Choice Awards said: Our awards celebrate adversity and courage and showcase that light can shine through in so many different ways. Our Rob Burrow Award had such a special meaning already but having The Big Bamboo Agency sponsoring, with the personal experience that Debbie had with her Mum, solidifies the amazing work MND Association does for the entire family. We are delighted to welcome them to our Yorkshire celebrations'.

The Yorkshire Choice Awards were founded by Melanie Malcolm and Joanne Maltby, who saw an opportunity to recognise and raise awareness of local people and independent businesses that are inspirational in their own way or in the markets they serve.

The Awards demonstrate that through adversity and courage, light can shine through in so many different ways and give the deserving nominees, finalists, and winners the exposure they truly deserve.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony being held at the Centenary Pavilion at Leeds United, on the evening of Saturday 7 May.

Further information about The Yorkshire Choice Awards, the categories and how to nominate an individual, are available at

Further information about The Big Bamboo Agency is available at


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