Special award recognises fundraising feat of Pateley Bridge family

The Snow family accepting their award.
The Snow family accepting their award.

Receiving the volunteer of the year award was a humbling experience for a Pateley Bridge family who lost their son to epilepsy two years ago.

Georgiana and David Snow, along with their children Philip, David and Alison, were presented with the award by the national charity Epilepsy Action at a ceremony in Leeds last month.

The event took place almost 18 months after the first anniversary of their son Thomas’s death during an epileptic seizure just after his 17th birthday.

Georgiana said: “I was very honoured and very privileged to receive the award, it’s nice to be recognised for what we did.

“I didn’t even know there was one out there and I never set out to get one. I’m just a person in Pateley.

“But it was a lovely surprise and I am just going to try to do more and make people aware of the dangers involved with epilepsy.”

On what would have been his 18th birthday, the family brought together Thomas’s favourite things, including a hog roast, a bucking bronco, and a 1000-strong balloon release.

The event, which was attended by around 400 people, managed to raise £6,600 for Epilepsy Action.

Georgiana said: “Thomas would have just loved it.

“It was all the things he loved to do and it is something he would have participated in if he had been there, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

It took the family only 10 weeks to organise the fundraising day.

Next year, for what would have been Thomas’s 21st birthday and what is Georgiana’s 50th, they hope to raise £10,000 for the charity.

Georgiana said: “I didn’t get a lot of support because I didn’t know where I could get it from.

“I don’t want people to have to suffer and go through it all on their own.

“I want them to know that there are people out there to help them.

“Knowing that our fundraising in memory of Thomas plays a small part in improving the lives of other families affected by epilepsy is very rewarding.”

The importance of awarding volunteers for their fundraising efforts is something Epilepsy Action chief executive Philip Lee recognises.

He said: “We are delighted to acknowledge the very special efforts of our volunteers.

“At Epilepsy Action we achieve what we do because of their support.”

Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK, and with 87 people diagnosed every day, Epilepsy Action’s services are crucial.

Their Epilepsy Helpline is available on 0808 800 5050.