Andy Barrow, wheelchair-rugby Paralympian, (pictured above) gave an inspirational message to business leaders, at an event to launch the new ellenor business club.
Around 50 business owners and professionals from across West and North Kent gathered at the marketing suite of Berkeley Homes in Tunbridge Wells on Thursday 16 July for the launch.
Guests – who were treated to wine and canapés kindly provided by Berkeley Homes – heard inspiring words from triple Paralympian and three time European gold medallist, Andy – who explained how his life changed when he broke his neck playing rugby and what drove him to sporting glory.
“At 17 my life changed forever but I knew it was up to me to make the most of it moving forward. It was in my hands,” said Andy. “But for the families which ellenor support, the future is very unclear. They need all the support we can give them.”
The event was also attended by The Mayor and Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells – Councillor David Elliott and June Crowhurst – who have chosen ellenor as their charity during their year in office.
Guests were welcomed to the event by Peter Smith of Berkeley Homes – a long-time supporter of ellenor and one of the first members of the Business Club. He explained why the company supports ellenor and what his staff gain from their involvement.
“As well as creating employment opportunities and new homes in the area, we feel it is hugely important as an organisation to be actively involved in the local community and our support for ellenor is a prime example,” said Peter. “We believe that the support the team at ellenor gives is so beneficial to so many families who are struggling to cope with cancer and other illnesses that anything you can do to support them will make a difference.”
ellenor Business Club will bring together a group of like-minded business people and professionals committed to giving something back to their community and supporting personalised care at home for children and their families.
Angela Ward, Area Fundraiser at ellenor, explained that, to join, businesses simply need to donate a minimum of £500 annually.
“With your help, ellenor Business Club has set a goal of raising £35,000 which will fund a Specialist Children’s Palliative Care Nurse for one year,” she said. “Your part in funding this children’s nurse will enable us to provide hospice care in the home to babies, children and young people – keeping families together.”
The Specialist Palliative Care Nurses at ellenor provide children and young people with specialist nursing care in the comfort of the child’s own home. This also includes vital respite care, allowing parents and siblings much needed time away from caring, so they can be mother and father or brother and sister again.
The benefits of joining ellenor Business Club will include the opportunity to attend exclusive meetings of the Club, where members will be able to network with other like-minded businesses and fellow supporters. These events will include a talk by an inspirational leader from the world of media, sport or business. Members will also have a listing on the ellenor website, as well as being presented with a framed certificate which can be displayed to their customers.