Tadworth the Hound
797. Geoff Smith
798. Jenny Smith
Geoff and Jenny Smith, from Surrey, created a mascot that has raised more than £75,000 for ‘The Children’s Trust,’ a UK charity that helps children and young people with a brain injury.
When their daughter Jacqui passed away aged 26, the couple vowed to raise money for the charity where Jacqui had worked as a healthcare assistant. For over a decade, Geoff has dressed up as the charity’s mascot ‘Tadworth the Hound’, while Jenny acts as his eyes and ears. They visit ‘The Children’s Trust’ specialist centre for rehabilitating children with brain injuries every week in their uplifting costume. Geoff and Jenny organise 8 mascot races each year to increase their fundraising and have inspired the creation of more than 300 other mascots.
Every year 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness and many have to live with ongoing, long-term difficulties. ‘The Children’s Trust’ gives children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability opportunities to live the best life possible, by providing specialist rehabilitation, education and community services across the UK.
In a personal letter to Geoff and Jenny, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “You should be proud of how your innovative fundraising is lifting the spirits of young people across ‘The Children’s Trust’. It is an incredibly fitting tribute to the memory of your daughter Jacqui.”
Geoff said: “We are so very grateful to receive this award, and it means so much to us. We are honoured to volunteer for ‘The Children’s Trust’ and very humbled by this recognition.”
Dalton Leong, Chief Executive at The Children’s Trust said: “Geoff and Jenny Smith have been loyal and committed volunteers for ‘The Children’s Trust’ since 2005 and this award is well deserved. They do invaluable work travelling the country organising mascot races to raise money to support work of ‘The Children’s Trust.’ Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation, and it is incredible to see volunteers like Geoff and Jenny recognised in this way for their contribution over the past 12 years.”