Our very own Andrew Smith has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Achievement award 2016
This year has seen the biggest Growth for the charity so far in it’s six years, with the year set to end on a high we were honoured to be invited to the Viking FM Awards 2016 to support our founder and CEO Andrew.
Charity work isn’t easy, it’s hard work, tiring, frustrating, challenging, exhaustive and relentless, but, it’s also rewarding in ways no other occupation or vocation can offer. To ensure a charity meets it’s objectives and grows is something that takes determination and courage, a will to not give up and a team of people that won’t stop no matter what the obstacle. But first and foremost it must have vision and drive, and that comes, in this instance from our very own founder Andrew.
Andrew has had an interesting life to date, with some amazing highs and some devastating lows, all of which would’ve made most people want to give up. At the age of 17 Andrew joined the Royal Navy as an operator mechanic and was soon deployed on HMS Edinburgh to the Mediterranean whist still just 18, almost immediately he began his next deployment to the South Atlantic and Falkland islands anti piracy patrol, Gaining qualifications and training moving in to operational arenas and specialised units in the wake of 9/11 he was unfortunately injured and eventually forced to be medically discharged from the service as pensioner with severe health problems and a lifelong disability.
After leaving the service his personal life began to fall apart resulting in unemployment, the loss of his house and everything he loved including the breakdown of his relationship. This left him at the mercy of family and friends for care and support with nowhere to live for a time, depression and severe health issues, he admits he couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for sometime. Slowly with the support of his family and undergoing many operations and treatments things started to improve, and finally after some time getting back into employment and a more stable way of life.
Andrew has two children, Ethan now eleven and Archie ten years of age. Initially the charity was a personal project for him and his children to help others that suffer and to teach his boys to value of what they have, that not all of us are so lucky and that giving is good, that was in 2010. Year by year interest grew in what the three boys were doing each winter, with more and more people wanting to donate and help those in need, in 2013 this personal project became a community project.
In May of this year the project gained charity status and has gone from strength to strength developing practices, building working relationships with the services and council and becoming what it is today.
We want to wish all the finalists good luck this evening for what will be a fantastic celebration of the good in our region.
For more information on the awards visit Viking FM here
Weather you are young or old, you can realise your dreams, don’t give up! A dream is just the start of your road to success, if you have hope and believe you will achieve.