I am still on a total high from Thursday night and can’t quite believe that we won. We are an award-winning charity. LLTGL are the Campaigning Team of the Year. It all just seems too incredible to contemplate. It seems like only yesterday Emma and I were sitting surrounded by thousands and thousands of plain T-shirts, trying to decide the best ones to use, completely unaware that what we were about to start was going to grow to be so huge.
On Thursday, me, Emma, Oli, Jen and Hal attended the Charity Awards 2008, knowing we were finalists in the Campaigning Team of the Year category. We were all totally over excited but figured that we wouldn’t win (see some of the competition to see why!) but the experience would be amazing.
The Royal Lancaster looked beautiful and everyone was beautifully dressed and buzzing with excitement. We were by far the youngest Charity there. Oli and I looked at the table plan and started giggling. We were table number 37....of 37. Right at the very back. Clearly we were not going to win as the winners had to make their way up onto the stage to collect their award.
Everyone was asked to take their seats and dinner was served. Unfortunately (and presumably due to the amount of foods which are on my “not allowed” list) I was served a plate of fruit as a starter, however the main (guinea fowl) and pudding (chocolate) were gorgeous. We were on a table with the Football Foundation and GAM, both of whom were lovely.
As you will have seen by the video clip by now, we genuinely didn’t think we would win. That shake of the head I give just prior to the announcement is to Emma, as just before that the charity who had received “Highly Commended” had been announced and that was what I was hoping we might get.
From then on it’s all a bit of a blur. We headed up to get our award, people cheering all round the room, and when we got onto the stage I grabbed the host and said burbled something about how most of us were transplant recipients. Unintentionally this outburst got me 20 seconds on the mic to the entire audience, which means we were the only charity who was allowed to speak during the whole ceremony! (How’s that for PR...).
The rest of the evening was just fantastic. People from other charities and organisations were coming up and congratulating us; everyone was so sweet and so touched by our charity and our backgrounds. It was a truly amazing night, and I think I can safely say that we all felt incredibly privileged to be there. It also reminded me how strong we are as a charity; we have virtually no funding, we have no employees, we do everything ourselves and everything on a voluntary basis. Yet all round the country, people know who we are and are cheering us on.
Live Life Then Give Life is an award-winning charity. And we are well and truly here to stay.