Macmillan work tirelessly with sufferers of cancer and their loved ones to provide as much help and support as possible, with a devoted community spirit at their heart.
80-year old John Burkhill, affectionately known as ‘The Man With the Pram’, can often be seen walking the streets of his native Sheffield in his trademark green wig and pushing a pram as a way of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
A dedicated fundraiser, nothing deters John from his efforts in fundraising for those affected by cancer. He can be seen on the streets no matter what the weather – blistering heat, pouring rain or even snow!
John sadly lost his wife, June, to cancer, and a year later his daughter Karen also passed away during a routine operation. Having witnessed first-hand the support and care they provide, John has since dedicated his life to raising funds for Macmillan. He originally set himself the target of raising £250,000 for the charity, and has now succeeded in raising over £1,000,000.
John was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in Chapeltown on 25th June 2012 as a result of his charity work, and has since even been awarded the Order of the British Empire medal by Queen Elizabeth. John responded to this by saying ‘Even the Queen thinks I’m barmy!’ John also received the Douglas Macmillan award for services to Macmillan Cancer Support in 2013.
Of his charity work, John says: ‘The hardest part some days is thinking: “Can I go out and do this?” But what keeps me going are the reactions of other people. A few years ago I was pushing my pram on a thousand-mile walk as part of the Sheffield Star walk. A car stopped nearby and I saw a young girl in the front seat who was surrounded by oxygen tanks and obviously ill. I stopped to let her put money in my bucket and gave her a high five with my big green foam hand, and I saw her face light up.
‘As I walked away her dad got out of the car, crying, and explained that she had Leukaemia. He said: “She’ll be talking about that for days to come; you’ve made her so happy”. That, I’m not ashamed to say, made me cry, and whenever I’m having a bad day I just think of her face, and it drives me on.’
As John entered his eightieth year, he decided that the goal he really wanted to reach was raising £1 million pounds for charity – so an event was organised across Sheffield to help with this, asking eighty local businesses to raise £1,000 each.
We as a contact centre are doing our very best to help John reach that goal, but we would absolutely love it if John could smash his target by as much as possible. Please, please help us to help this great dream – although there’s probably nothing that could stop him!