To celebrate the launch of our sixth annual Alex Demain Awards, we look back on last year's winners.
We spoke to JJ, Quinn, Emily, and Roo and Mark about what they've been up to since their wins.
If their achievements inspire you, or remind you of someone you know, nominations are now open.
Quinn - Winner of the under 16 fundraiser of year award 2020
Quinn was extremely excited to have won the Alex Demain Award and the whole family was so proud of his achievement too.
After the awards, our local radio station in York phoned Quinn live on air. They awarded him with their daily hero award for his amazing efforts in fundraising for Crohns & Colitis UK.
He has continued to fundraise and this year Quinn walked a full marathon for My WALK IT, raising £1600. His family joined him and so did his teacher, who also lives with Crohn's.
To all future fundraisers, Quinn’s advice would be to keep it fun and do something that all ages can be involved in.
Emily - Winner of the 16-29 fundraiser of year award 2020
Living with Colitis can feel isolating, but receiving an award which acknowledges the struggles and celebrates the successes of the condition has been an incredible source of comfort and confidence for me.
I'm now able to confidently talk about my journey with Colitis and all of the taboos that come with it. The fundraising goal motivated me to talk with family, friends, and colleagues about my condition, as well as connecting with others online who live with Crohn’s and Colitis
I'm now much more secure in my diagnosis, and know that life with Colitis is not only manageable but can be enjoyable and lived to the fullest!
I have continued to raise awareness of my condition and share my story as a student living with colitis on social media. I encourage others to break down the stigma associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s & Colitis UK have fantastic resources online to support newly diagnosed young people, students at school and university, and friends and family who want to access more information to help a loved one.
The advice I would give to Crohn’s & Colitis UK fundraisers is to share your story! Whether you’re personally affected by a diagnosis, or are fundraising on behalf of someone close to you, it’s great to share your experience. It's important to raise awareness of the range of ways Crohn's and Colitis can affect your life. Letting others know what I was going through and reaching out for support was fundamental in helping to raise funds and improve my own confidence in talking about my condition.
JJ - Winner of the under 16 lifetime awareness award 2020
Winning the Alex Demain Award meant so much to me. Its always been really important to me to raise awareness of Crohn's, especially in young people. To me this award meant that I was doing a good job of educating people about this condition.
I still tell people about Crohn's and how it can affect people who have it. I’ve done presentations and a magazine article too. When it was difficult to do fundraising because of restrictions, I did a 100 kata challenge on Zoom. Lots of my karate friends were involved and I have some plans now that things are a bit more open.
It doesn’t matter what you do to raise money. Some people might be able to run a long distance, some might be able to cook cakes. Use what you're good at and enjoy yourself. The team at Crohn's & Colitis UK are amazing and always give you loads of support.
Mark and Roo - Winner of the 16-29 lifetime awareness award 2020
Winning the Alex Demain Award last year was a shock at first. All we wanted to do was try and raise as much money and awareness for people who are affected my Crohn's and Colitis as possible. We wanted to get people talking about it.
So, being nominated was a surprise and then to win it? We were truly humbled.
We were meant to have run the London Marathon 2020 on behalf of Crohn's & Colitis UK so that went ahead on Sunday 3rd October. We have spent the time in between training organising raffles and keeping clients who come into the barber shop up to date on why we are raising money for this charity and how it affects so many people.
If you're looking to fundraise in the future, we'd say to use the resources that you have at your disposal. It might be a business like ours, or your friends and family. You’d be very surprised on how many people have been affected by or know someone who is affected by Crohn's or Colitis.