Pride of Broxbourne

02 November 2020

Pride of Broxbourne

The Pride of Britain Awards are coveted, and competition is always fierce, with so many everyday folk from our great nation taking on acts of selflessness and doing all they can to make the world a better place. 

This year more than ever, with the likes of the incredible Captain Sir Tom Moore and the courageous and adorable double amputee Tony Hudgell to support the NHS Frontline Heroes, it’s been tougher than ever to receive recognition for the people who help us every day.

At Teens Unite, we are so very lucky to have people in our community who, like Captain Sir Tom, and little Tony “Bear” Hudgell, go all out for us and the young people we support.

Today, we want to share with you a little of one of our Community Champions, Steve.

If you think about a Community Champion, you probably think of someone who is a prolific networker, someone very well connected.  An inspirational, innovative, and tenacious person with passion and empathy. Someone who is both motivated to make a difference but also someone who can motivate others, gather support, and really unite a community.

If they’re the qualities that you’re looking for in a Community Champion, then you need to look no further than Steve, a Community Champion who has been working tirelessly to support numerous causes in and around Hoddesdon and Broxbourne since he moved to the area in 2007.

Steve is a family man, a beautiful wife, stepchildren, and grandchildren, but when you think of his “family”, it isn’t just his blood relations.  He is someone who welcomes everyone into his family.  In working with Teens Unite he has supported other fundraisers, volunteers, beneficiaries and staff.  He is someone who always has a smile, some sound advice, and broad shoulders.  Newcomers are welcomed and shown the ropes.  The cause is talked about with knowledge and passion and any nerves that anyone who comes to an event may have are soon dispelled with humour and genuine warmth.

Steve is very well connected and well known locally as a runner.  He started running in 2014 and has since run four marathons, including the London Marathon twice.  He runs all over the UK and raises both funds and awareness for the causes he is supporting. 

As a keen runner and having taken part in many events, Steve was on obvious choice to go to for advice when Teens Unite wanted to set up an annual Charity run.  He helped with all aspects of the event from working out the different routes, introductions to suppliers, recruitment of volunteers and on the day timings.  The inaugural event was a huge success raising almost £5k and will (when the Charity is able to host events again after the Pandemic) be a permanent fixture in the annual fundraising calendar.

Steve volunteers with the community group “Your Town Runners” supporting other runners in the area to stay focussed and achieve their fitness goals – many of these guys go from novice to competitive running, and take on their own challenges to raise funds for their own choice of cause – and not only does Steve support them in their running he supports them in their fundraising efforts too.  In 2017, Steve was recognised twice for his voluntary work in the community, supporting local people.  The founder of giveyourtownrunaround, Mark White awarded Steve the honour of Community Maker, and Steve was also a finalist in the Active Broxbourne Sports Award Volunteer of the Year

Innovation and entrepreneurial skills are key for a Community Champion, and Steve has these in abundance.  If there is a way to make money out of an event or a fixture, you can bet that Steve will be doing so.  National sporting events, National Holidays and even the National Lottery bonus balls are a way for Steve to tap into his connections and raise some money for the causes he supports. 

Bingo, raffles and race nights all bring together people in the community for an evening of fun and friendship, but always with a cause at the heart.  Local business owners know Steve and his Charity work and are willing to support him with donations for raffles and auctions.

Steve has walked literally hundreds of miles for the causes he supports.  Throughout the year he will walk the streets, in all weathers, delivering leaflets highlighting events and ways in which the community can come together to raise awareness and funds for the cause.

In 2019, Steve’s fundraising took him a little out of the Community he normally works in as he joined other Teens Unite supporters on an overseas challenge that saw them cycling over 350km through India’s Golden Triangle.  Steve’s personal fundraising efforts for this event alone saw him raise almost £4,000, and together the team raised a phenomenal £82,000 for Teens Unite.  While travelling through India, Steve and his fellow fundraisers worked with new communities, visiting remote villages along the way and doing seemingly small jobs with the residents that will totally transform their lives and their livelihoods- planting trees and installing solar panels.

And now, even with the challenges of a Global Pandemic, Steve is still front and centre when it comes to raising awareness and funds for local causes.  This year, with the London Marathon postponed, Steve took on a marathon of his own, taking a circuitry route for twenty-six miles in and around the Community that he supports and is so central to.

Steve says he enjoys being able to come and meet the Teens Unite beneficiaries, saying this “is really rewarding and makes all the fundraising worthwhile” he also says that he is “motivated and inspired by the work of the Charity “ and this is what keeps him going. 

Teens Unite are inspired and motivated by Steve and feel very proud and very privileged to have his support.

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