A family from Essex were the winners of the Inspirational Family Award, sponsored by AXA Insurance, at our 40th Anniversary Awards Night recently held at the iconic Lloyds Building in the City of London.
The Bowyer family, of Great Leighs, received the award in recognition of their wonderful efforts to raise both funds and awareness of our charity.
Ian Bowyer and eldest daughter Lydia were presented with their award by Paul Jardine, our Chair of Trustees. Credit: The Photography Squad.
The award was voted for by the public, with the Bowyers being nominated alongside four other inspiring families who have all gone above and beyond in their support of our charity.
Between 2008 and 2017, the Bowyers stayed at our Rainbow House ‘Home from Home’ on numerous occasions while daughter Evie – who was born with Crouzon Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes the plates of the skull to fuse, preventing normal growth – received treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in central London.
Since 2009 dad Ian Bowyer and his family have gone above and beyond in their efforts to support us, with Ian describing his relationship with – and appreciation of – us as being ‘life-long’. In addition to running numerous marathons in fancy dress, Ian – headteacher of Boreham Primary School, near Chelmsford – has organised countless fundraisers and gone to great lengths in his efforts to increase awareness, having raised over £21,000 for us in the process.
Evie is now 14 and is awaiting her most complex surgery this year. While Evie was unable to be present at the ceremony, Ian was accompanied by eldest daughter Lydia, partner Gill Powell and stepson Jamie.
Our 40th Anniversary Awards Night served as a celebration of the individuals, families, companies, and organisations that have gone above and beyond in support of our charity.
The ceremony was attended by numerous high-profile guests including stage and screen legend Michael Crawford CBE, our President of for over 30 years. Silent Witness star Emilia Fox, singer Christina Johnston, actress and comedian Ronni Ancona and TV presenter Jen Pringle were all in attendance, with actor and writer Tim Downie hosting the occasion.
Ian Bowyer (centre left) and eldest daughter Lydia (right) alongside Michael Crawford CBE (left) and Ronni Ancona (centre right). Credit: The Photography Squad.
Speaking about winning the Inspirational Family Award, Ian Bowyer said:
“We were extremely proud to be given this prestigious award and to be recognised for our efforts in raising funds to support The Sick Children’s Trust, which has been such an important part of our lives for 13 years. Being joined up on stage by my eldest daughter, Lydia, who first stayed in Rainbow House aged when she was four to receive the award was a special moment, not least in the presence of the Trust’s President, Michael Crawford.”
“The charity has been and continues to be such an amazing source of support to our family, as it is to so many other families. Without them we would have been unable to remain close by our daughter, Evie’s side whilst she was hospitalised for such complex surgery. The best medicine by far for any child when they are in hospital for lengthy periods of time is to always have their family close by. Our relationship with The Sick Children’s Trust is most definitely lifelong and we cannot thank them enough for their unwavering love, warmth, and support during such difficult times.”
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of The Sick Children’s Trust, said:
“All of the families nominated for the Inspirational Family Award have gone above and beyond in support of The Sick Children’s Trust, both raising funds and awareness about the important work we do. Ian Bowyer and his family have been fantastic champions of our charity, passionately telling anyone and everyone about how our ‘Homes from Home’ played a crucial role in supporting his family while Evie was in hospital, raising thousands of points in that process. Without the support of families like lan’s we wouldn’t be able to continue doing what we do. On behalf of everyone at The Sick Children’s Trust, I offer not only my congratulations on winning this award but also a heartfelt thank you for everything you do for us.”
“Our 40th Anniversary is a very special milestone for us, one that celebrates having supported over 73,000 families since our creation in 1982. It has been a fabulous evening packed with emotion, and I congratulate not only the winners of each category but all the nominees shortlisted for each award and thank every one of them for being there on the night to celebrate this very special occasion. I also offer a huge thanks to all our sponsors, without whose support this event would not have been possible.”
Ian Bowyer pictured alongside daughter Evie. Credit: The Bowyer family.