Reuben’s Retreat founder Nicola Graham has won an Inspiring Women award for her community work as funds raised by the charity reach a staggering £340,000.
Nicola gave up her job at Red Sea Holidays six weeks ago to devote her time to the charity in memory of her son Reuben, who died of a rare brain tumour on August 21 last year.
The charity, founded with husband Mike, of Celebrity Cruises, is on target to raise £1 million in 23 months – by September 2014 – representing the age Reuben was when he died. This will fund the building and running of a countryside retreat for families with children with life-threatening illnesses and provide bereavement counselling.
Nicola, of Mottram, said she was overwhelmed to have become joint winner in the community category of this year’s Inspiring Women Awards. The other winner was Joanne Thompson, who lost her nine-month daughter Millie last year after she choked on her lunch at nursery in Cheadle Hulme.
“When I won the award, I said this is for Reuben and Millie and it is dedicated to every parent who has a child in heaven,” said Nicola.
The Inspiring Women awards, launched in 1992 to raise funds for research charity Tommy’s Campaign, recognise the varied achievements of women in the north-west of England.
Nicola said Reuben’s Retreat was becoming increasingly well-known in the north-west and attracting more support from local businesses as well as the travel industry. It was recently the charity of choice for the Pride of Tameside 2013 Awards. “Locally our profile seems to have increased,” she said.
This Sunday, May 26, 160 people, including several travel industry staff, will be raising money for Reuben’s Retreat by taking part in the Bupa Great Manchester Run.
Further industry fundraising events this summer include a 88-mile midsummer night cycle ride from Manchester to Llandudno on June 21 and the Travel Trade Cruscade car rally across Europe in July.
The charity will also be urging people to take part in a nationwide cake-baking day on September 10, which would have been Reuben’s third birthday.
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