September 26th, 2016

Family of brave Finlay are in the running for a top award

Family of brave Finlay are in the running for a top award Family of brave Finlay are in the running for a top award
Penny and Wayne with Fin on the day at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Picture by Tristan Harris.
Updated: 11:28 am, Sep 16, 2016

THE FAMILY of inspirational Alvechurch schoolboy Finlay Church are in the running for a prestigious national fund-raising award.

Fin passed away at the age of 11 in November last year after a brave 17-month battle with a brain tumour.

During his fight he helped raise more than £100,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity and Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and received a Pride of Birmingham Child of Courage award.

Since then, his mum Penny, dad Wayne, brother Kenzie and sister Tegan carried on the fund-raising in his memory and to date have raised £143,000 for the two charities.

They are now one of three finalists for the Outstanding Commitment Award, run by the online giving platform JustGiving.

Among the fund-raising was the now famous Guinness World Record attempt which, led by Fin, saw a 15,534 strong line of teddy bears laid, smashing the previous record.

Then, a similar World Record was achieved when – in May on what would have been Fin’s 12th birthday – his family and friends created the longest ever line of hats. It was held at Alvechurch Middle School, where Fin attended, and set the new record at 5,471.

Penny, 42, said: “It has been an unsettling year in many ways.

“Last September Fin managed to walk into school for the start of the new year and now Tegan, Kenzie and his friends will be starting the new term without him.

“We are really humbled and touched to be nominated for our fund-raising which, to us, has been the most natural thing in the world to do.

“This is part of Fin’s legacy and what he wanted us to do.

“Never in a million years did we expect this sort of recognition, we are delighted and speechless.”

Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research Sue Farrington Smith said sadly more children died from brain tumour than any other cancer, including leukaemia but just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research was allocated to the devastating disease.

“No parent should ever have to lose a child and we hope that people will vote to show their support for Fin’s family.

“Penny and Wayne are such lovely and passionate people.

“We are enormously grateful to them and to the community of Alvechurch for their continued commitment to helping up raise vital funds so that, in future, we can provide better outcomes for children and their families.”

The awards are an annual celebration of those who have helped change lives and shown an incredible commitment to raising funds for good causes.

The winner of the awards will be determined by a public vote.

Those wanting to vote can visit and click on the cause they want to support.