1112. Paul Verrico
Paul Verrico, from South Yorkshire, has raised over £500,000 in 5 years to support cancer patients and their families with medical, psychological and practical assistance, as well as funding research into the most aggressive forms of cancer.
After Paul’s wife Anna died from triple negative breast cancer in 2013 when their children were aged one and three, Paul had the vision to set up the charity ‘Team Verrico’ with the support of family and friends and his employer, Eversheds Sutherland, to build on Anna’s legacy of fundraising for cancer research and support.
Paul worked with a local running shop to establish the annual “Anna Verrico Half-Marathon” in his hometown of Epworth, in memory of his wife’s frequent participation in races despite undergoing chemotherapy. The money raised provides particular support to cancer patients nationwide with children through access to counselling and financial assistance, as well as funding research undertaken at the Universities of Sheffield, Cardiff, Brighton and Nottingham.
Paul’s award coincides with World Cancer Day.
In a personal letter to Paul, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The extraordinary amount of money you have raised is a remarkable tribute to your late wife, Anna. The support you provide for patients and their families is invaluable and you should feel very proud of the legacy you are creating. It is especially important, on World Cancer Day, to recognise the incredibly positive impact your work is having on so many families across the UK. I wish you, your family, and Team Verrico the very best as you continue your efforts.”
Andrew Percy, Paul’s local MP for Brigg & Goole and the Isle of Axholme, said:
“I am delighted that Paul has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award. He thoroughly deserves this recognition for the tireless and amazing work he has done in supporting people with cancer along with their families. We are all very proud of his achievements locally, and wish him the best of luck going forward.”
“Whilst I am delighted personally to receive this award, it would not have been possible without the friendship, camaraderie and goodness of my close family and friends who deserve equal recognition. They have cuddled my head in times of torment, supported me in my vision for the charity and taken the load squarely on their shoulders when it became too much for me personally. Half a million pounds is a lot of money and this award is dedicated to the trustees of the charity, the senior team and all those who support our work by giving their time and fundraising to help us achieve our mission.
“As a volunteer charity which exists without salaries or an office, funds raised go directly to those most in need – this ethos is something I am fiercely proud of. If anyone reading about this award fits our criteria of being a family with children under the age of 18 suffering a cancer diagnosis, we can and will help in line with our vision of creating more tomorrows. Over all else, I am honoured to have been married to a woman who instilled in me the mantra on which the charity is formed – ‘Never give up’.”
Picture above: Paul with his late wife Anna, and their two children