Gold Star for team involved in Noble cause

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By The Bristol Post | Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 05:00

FOUR dedicated fundraisers have won this year's Ken Thorkilsden Gold Star Award for their help in raising £24,000 to enable a four-year-old boy to take his first steps.

The honour is awarded by The Post's Gold Star Award sponsors, First, in memory of Ken Thorkilsden, who was a driver, inspector and manager with the bus company until his death in 2005.

First employees Paul Noble, Elisabeth Pfeiffer, James Morgan and Marcin Dobrowolski have won the award in recognition of their fundraising for A Noble Cause for Jude.

Jude Noble, who lives in Kingswood and is Paul Noble's son, has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk on his own.

He is able to move around by crawling or using his walking frame or relying on an adult to move him either physically or in his adapted chair and buggy.

His dad put the team together to help raise money towards the cause, which was set up by Jude's friends and family so that he could have an operation known as a selective dorsal rhizotomy at Frenchay Hospital.

The operation could give him the chance to walk and stand independently and reduce the discomfort and pains he currently experiences.

It is hoped that the full £31,000 needed for the operation will be raised sometime in the next year.

A range of fundraising events have been planned and run by the team. All four took part in the Bristol Half Marathon, raising nearly £1,600 in sponsorship for the fund.

They also organised two bake sales, which were held at First's offices in Bristol and Southampton, between them collecting nearly £400.

Paul Noble, 41, a financial planning manager who lives in Kingswood, has been involved in numerous activities both in and outside of work.

Elisabeth Pfeiffer, 25, assistant management accountant, lives in Bradley Stoke and was the main organiser of the bake sale.

James Morgan, 33, a revenue analyst from Clifton, and Marcin Dobrowolski, 35, an assistant revenue accountant from St George, took part in both.

Mr Dobrowolski, who ran the half- marathon in one hour 51 minutes, said: "We did lots of training – it was a brilliant feeling to cross the finishing line knowing we had done it for such a good cause."

Ms Pfeiffer said: "Everyone is aware of the condition that Paul's son has and the cost of the operation.

"The idea for a bake sale came about because we all love baking and eating cakes.

"It started off small but turned out to be a rather large event; we raised almost £400 — just from cakes!"

Mr Noble said: "It feels great to be receiving the Gold Star award.

"I have been touched by the support from my co-workers.

"The generosity they have shown by making donations or giving up their time has been phenomenal and Jude, myself and the whole family are very grateful."

Jenny MacLeod, general manager for First in Bristol, said: "It gives us great pleasure to be able to recognise and reward our own staff with a Gold Star Award.

"This year, Paul, Elisabeth, Marcin and James have worked together, in a team, to raise much needed funds for a very good cause.

"They have given up their own time to train and run the Bristol Half Marathon, and have organised bake sales in Bristol and Southampton to raise even more money.

"We're all inspired by the work that they have done, and wanted to give them this award to highlight the fantastic cause and the efforts that they have gone to increase awareness of it."

Justin Davies, regional managing director for First in South West and Wales, said: "I am thrilled that members of our finance team in the south west have gone the extra mile this year to raise both funds and awareness of this very important cause, and that we have been able to reward their efforts in this way.

"Our own charity and sponsorship committee has recently added another £2,000 to the fundraising total, taking A Noble Cause for Jude even closer to its goal of raising £31,000. This is great stuff but there is still a way to go, so we'd like to do all we can to further highlight the cause, in the hope that the end goal is reached as quickly as possible."

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