Community Spirit Awards: James’ Charity Journey

Join Be Caring in celebrating James Lafferty’s award win at the Community Spirit Awards, where he is recognised for his dedication to raising funds for St Oswald’s Hospice.

Meet James Lafferty, an extraordinary individual whose dedication to charity has spanned over four decades. James is a seasoned support worker for LIFE, our Learning Disability department, and an inspiring VOICE representative whose passion for making a difference has changed many lives. From being just 15 years old, James has committed to a journey of compassion, raising funds for a variety of causes.

A Lifelong Commitment

James’ charity work began with a sponsored half marathon walk through the busy streets of Birmingham aged just 15. His enthusiasm for charity grew stronger with time, eventually leading him to pledge his efforts to a monumental goal – four consecutive fundraising events over seven months, all in support of the remarkable St Oswald’s Hospice.

James’ Connection to St Oswald’s

Central to James’ mission is St Oswald’s Hospice, an organisation which provides specialised hospice care across age groups. This year James aimed to raise funds for St Oswald’s, driven by their commitment to enhancing the quality of life for those under their care. James shared,

“I chose St Oswald’s because of the fantastic work they are doing to enhance the quality of life for the people they look after for the short time they have left. The money that we’re able to raise will contribute to the annual amount they have to find. Which is a staggering £8 million a year.”

The Challenges

Last year James completed an exhilarating series of events, on the 4th of March (2023) he completed a 10-mile walk, spanning from the Scotswood Bridge to the Royal Quays, Newcastle and on May 20th he conquered a 50-mile bike ride. James celebrated his 60th birthday by taking part in a daunting 15,000ft charity sky dive on July 8th and the finale of James’ events was the Great North Run on September 10th.

As an employee-owned organisation, we reinvest surpluses into our community and proudly contributed £500 to James’ fundraising endeavours, bringing his current total to an incredible £2400. This sum correlates to 68 hours of funded nursing care at St Oswald’s, which will offer comfort and support to both adults and children during their most vulnerable moments.

A Thanks from St Oswald’s

Bethany, the Fundraising Coordinator for St Oswald’s shared this sentiment,

“James is one of the loveliest supporters I’ve ever worked with since working at St Oswald’s, and the challenges he’s undertaken this year are incredible. For the majority of our supporters, it’s only the single challenge they take on, but for James that just wasn’t enough… so he decided to take on 4 for us all within 1 year; the last one ending on the iconic Great North Run 2023!

James doesn’t have a direct connection to the Hospice as such, but is doing these challenges because he truly believes in the amazing work we do here with the services we provide to our patients & families. And speaking with him throughout all of this, I can truly see that he has put his whole heart and soul into everything, not only into the challenges themselves, but to the fundraising and spreading awareness of our charity in general to those who may not have known what we were about.

It’s been a pleasure supporting James throughout his challenges journey, and I thoroughly look forward to meeting him at the end of the Great North Run this September.”

A huge congratulations to James, winner of the annual Community Spirit Awards, an event held to celebrate the fantastic fundraising achievements of many St Oswald’s Hospice supporters.

James’ compassion is an inspiration to us all – if you share our values and want to join an organisation which celebrates their colleagues achievements, please apply here today.