MANDY Barwick’s name has become synonymous with charity work.
It all began in 2004 when she attended a public meeting to hear about the work of Ainley Top mum-of-two Linda Senior who had formed a charity called The West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust with the ultimate aim to build a children’s hospice in the Huddersfield area.
From that year onwards Mandy’s life changed beyond all recognition as the charity fundraising bug saw her embark on a task to help raise in excess of £3m – and at that time there was only £385,000 in the charity’s bank account.
She left the meeting as voluntary fundraiser. She was also holding down a full time job but Mandy dedicated all of her spare time to the cause.
Mandy has received several nominations and her partner, Andrew Taylor, said: “This relatively small, low profile local charity was transformed into a successful, vibrant and well-structured organisation that quickly had in place – thanks to the generosity of many businesses and organisations – all the resources and facilities it required donated free of charge.
“During the next four years Mandy’s patience, tenacity, confidence in her own ability and sheer determination surprised many. She was a formidable fundraiser, working night and day, always going that extra mile, challenging the boundaries and putting others before herself.
“This drive and determination to succeed would open many doors to many rooms and every room entered she would brighten with her infectious smile. She became a magnet, recruiting armies of invaluable volunteers and supporters, demonstrating that she showed a genuine interest and gratitude to each and every person who joined in the crusade.
“Mandy bid a sad farewell to the charity in 2008 when finally the planning was given the official seal of approval and she left in place an established, dedicated team of staff and a charity in a strong financial position to plan and commence building this much needed children’s hospice.”
Andrew added: “Although her career path led her into the private sector, her natural flair, outstanding talent and passion for fundraising meant that in no time at all numerous local charities contacted her for voluntary support from hosting fashion shows to organising events. She continued to selflessly give her all to any charity that called upon her. Saying “no” was not an option to her.”
These have included Overgate Hospice and the Huw Thatcher Trust.
In July 2011 Mandy was diagnosed with Grade 2 Breast Cancer, but it just spurred her to step up her charity work and despite several operations she set out to achieve a personal dream to establish ‘The Charity Angels’ – a group of individuals and businesses committed to supporting worthwhile charities by giving skill, will and expertise and simply lending a hand to those who need it most. She is now dubbed the charity’s Archangel.
Andrew added: “As founder of the Charity Angels, Mandy is fondly known as Archangel as her warm and caring nature naturally attracts volunteer Angels. Her drive and enthusiasm is infectious and her expertise, reliability and integrity are an invaluable asset to charities.’’
Mandy recently completed the 260-mile Pedal For Pounds bike ride to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Huddersfield Town Youth Academy.
In mid June she will become a fundraiser with Kirkwood Hospice.