Hero Awards Winners 2023
Meet the Solving Kids' Cancer UK Hero Awards winners of 2023
Each year, the Solving Kids' Cancer UK Hero Awards recognize and honour all the different people who have been there for families in the neuroblastoma community or played an active role in our vision: a future where no child dies of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma or suffers due to the treatment they receive.
Heroes come from all different walks of life. They may be 8 or 80, an individual or a team of incredible people. The common thread is how they went above and beyond to support children and their families affected by neuroblastoma.
At the Solving Kids' Cancer UK Christmas Carol Concert in London, each hero was given a personalised award and some of those who nominated their heroes were able to be there to present the award to their hero in person.
Meet the 2023 heroes below.
We Can Kick It
We Can Kick It is a fantastic nonprofit organization dedicated to using their passion for football to inspire and empower children and families affected by cancer.
Adrian Conoboy MBE, founder and director, came over from The US to accept the Hero Award last week which was presented by parents, Hannah and Adam Cohen, who saw first-hand the impact that We Can Kick It has on children with cancer when their son, Jake, participated in some of the We Can Kick It sessions, in person and virtually.
They do so much for children with cancer through sporting activities and strive to make sport as inclusive as possible. Thank you, We Can Kick It!
Clare and Robson
Robson became aware of the charity after his cousin Ollie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and the family set up a fundraising campaign with the charity. Tragically, Ollie passed away in 2021 but this didn’t stop Robson from wanting to do more for other families affected by neuroblastoma. Robson has so far raised a staggering £10,000 for Solving Kids' Cancer UK.
He has raised money and much-needed awareness of the charity and neuroblastoma through his football team Ollie United FC and last year took on the challenge of running the London Marathon for the charity.
Clare has consistently raised money and awareness for Solving Kids’ Cancer UK for many years. When she first began raising money, it was for her daughter, Hannah, who lost her battle with Neuroblastoma in 2010. Yet she has continued to not only raise money by running marathons and triathlons but also created the butterfly relay which was incredibly successful and helped build awareness and new focus on the charity. She has set up a named fund in Hannah’s Name called Hannah’s Heroes which supports families who have been affected by neuroblastoma and funds vital research into the disease.
Clare’s sister said: “She is a true hero, we are all so proud of her and all that she does. When putting one foot in front of the other can sometimes seem impossible, she finds a way and carries on. Not only walking but running, and more recently swimming. All to support others. She is one in a million and Hannah would be so proud of her mummy.”
Wendy is a pub landlady in Devon who supported the Daubany-Nunn family throughout their fundraising campaign and after their child, Sam, had sadly passed away from neuroblastoma.
Wendy was nominated by Gill, mum to Sam, after she showed the Daubany-Nunn family such love and kindness during their darkest times.
Gill said, “When Sam needed to go to Griefswald for treatment, we had to raise funds quickly. Wendy made a fundraising ‘tree’ which was a huge poster on the wall of the pub. Everyone coming into the premises was encouraged to buy a branch and, within a few weeks, Wendy presented us with over £3000 towards our expenses.
“Wendy and Steve also went above and beyond in helping us say a final farewell to Sam by giving us sole use of their premises, the catering, the use of theirs and their staff’s time, completely free of charge. They are fantastic people."
The Roberttown Community
The amazing Roberttown community were presented with their Hero Award, which was sponsored by Anglo Stainless, by Kim Leadbeater MP for their unwavering support of a special little girl called Beau, who fought a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and sadly passed away earlier this year.
Beau's mother, Shirley, nominated the community, recognising the incredible and generous support provided to Beau and the family throughout her challenging journey. The community rallied behind Shirley's fundraising campaign Get Beau to Sloan and showcased their extraordinary generosity, exceeding the initial fundraising target of £317,000 and raising an outstanding total of just over £600,000.
Clare and Jayne
Clare and Jayne are two incredible community nurses from the Children's Community Nursing Team at Waltham Forest.
They were nominated for a Hero Award by mum to Michael, Helen, for going above and beyond in their care of Michael when he was undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma, and Helen and Michael presented Clare and Jayne with their award at the carol concert.
Helen said: “The clinical care that they provided was just one small part of what they did for us. They provided continuity, understanding and compassion.
“It meant the world to know that there was someone who understood what you're going through, without explanation, who could watch your child grow as they go through treatment and see them for who they are, rather than a sick child.
“It was such an honour to have them there. There are no words and the debt is so much. We love them so much.”
Leah, from Sheffield, appeared in various media outlets earlier in 2023 after she raised more than £14,500 by selling home-made World Cup-themed scrunchies and key rings to raise money for Jude who had been diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma and sadly passed away this year.
Leah received a sewing machine for Christmas and used her creative abilities to raise money for Jude. She even met England Lionesses, Lucy Bronze and Ellie Roebuck who gave her signed shirts, boots and a ball to auction off and raise more money. Former Lioness Jill Scott also sent a video praising the scrunchies.
A huge well done to Leah for such an innovative and generous idea!
Jessie, Gabriella and Phoebe
Jessie, Gabriella and Phoebe are an amazing group of young fundraisers.
These girls, aged only 11, wanted to do something to raise money in memory of their best friend, Kitty, who devastatingly passed away in 2022 after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
The girls organised and walked more than 25 miles in 1 day. At times the terrain was very hilly and the weather was treacherous but they never complained once!
It was such a special thing to do to remember Kitty and the girls raised over £4,000 for Solving Kids’ Cancer UK.
The four girls, in Year 7 at Bridgewater High School, were nominated by Kitty’s mum, Sally, and they received their Hero Award from Patron Kellie Bright and fellow EastEnders star, Lacey Turner. Well done girls!
Darren and Chris
Darren Mills, from Sumo (one of our corporate partners), and Chris Lee (investor) played a key role in organising the most incredible charity fundraising event called British Racing Greats, which took place in June this year.
British Racing Greats was the first-of-its-kind charity race track event, celebrating the greatest racing games ever made and raising money for our partner charity, Special Effect, and Solving Kids’ Cancer UK. An incredible £100,000 was raised and split between the two charities.
Darren and Chris’s commitment to the event was truly inspiring. We also want to make special mention of Nick Streeter, from our partner charity, Special Effect. Nick was one of the masterminds behind this incredible event and we are so grateful to Nick for helping to make it possible for Solving Kids’ Cancer UK to be part of it.