Friday, November 17, 2017

image Follow Us:

ERA Officer Nominated for Hillingdon Hero Award

From the Uxbridge Gazette

Ian Parkinson - Hillingdon Hero "Fabulous Fundraiser" nomineeIan Parkinson, of Field End Road, Eastcote, has been put forward for the Fabulous Fundraiser category of the annual competition, run jointly by the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader Series, and Uxbridge college .

The 45-year-old has been recognised for putting his heart and soul into generating thousands of pounds for his local community.

With Eastcote in grave danger of having no Christmas lights last year, due to a lack of cash, Mr Parkinson was personally asked by the town's business community to assist with their fund raising efforts.

In just eight short weeks, he organised a festive light appeal which raised an impressive £18,500.

The semi-retired accountant also raised the £7,000 necessary to arrange the biggest Christmas market and fayre Eastcote has ever seen, attracting a staggering 10,000 visitors.

As a result, local business owners claim to have generated more than £250,000 over the course of the event.

Charities present at the market, including Macmillan Cancer Research, RSPCA, Barnados, the British Legion and Ruislip Lions Club, also say they received record donations and support.

Mr Parkinson, who is business and disabilities representative for the Eastcote Residents' Association (ERA), told the Gazette: "I was brought up in a children's home and benefited greatly from the generosity of others, so I can appreciate the pleasure, security and sense of belonging that comes from being supported by the local community.

"Now I am semi-retired, I feel it is my turn to give something back. It wasn't an easy task raising the money, particularly during Christmas, and it's hard when you are trying to establish an event as people often get involved in something they already know is a success.

"But the Christmas market was absolutely brilliant, a fantastic success, and it felt amazing when the charities and businesses said they had raised more money than ever before.

"It was incredible to see children coming down the street singing, smiling and enjoying themselves. I think after all the hard work last Christmas, this year should be a cinch!"

Mr Parkinson also co-promoted a quiz night in March at Grangewood Primary School, in Fore Street, which educates children with severe learning disabilities. The event raised £3,400.

He is also the brains behind the Eastcote Community Fund and Eastcote Festival Team, which is currently on target to raise £35,000 this year towards organising and promoting local events.

Future fundraising events organised by Mr Parkinson include a cabaret evening and supper at Winston Churchill Hall on July 17, including music, songs, sketches and comedy, with profits to be split between local charities for disabled children, including Grangewood School, and the Eastcote Community Fund.

This year's Eastcote Christmas Street Festival will take place on Sunday, December 5 including a German craft and Christmas market, street entertainers, music, a funfair, stalls and a spectacular fireworks display.

Stalls are available free to all local charitable, volunteer and community groups. Further details about all upcoming events can be found at www.EastcoteRA.co.uk

Mr Parkinson, who lives with his girlfriend, Linda, added: "With so many high streets struggling, I think it's really important to help regenerate our local and business communities and boost their momentum with events that everyone can get involved in.

"I would be delighted to be named a Local Hero. It would be a victory for Eastcote and I would probably plough the prize money straight back into the Eastcote Community Fund.

"I think this town has a fantastic sense of community and it really is a unique and wonderful place to live.

"I would like to thank the generous residents and businesses in Eastcote, the fabulous teams at the ERA, the festival team and Hillingdon Council staff, who have all gone the extra mile to support my fundraising initiatives."

Mr Parkinson was nominated for a Local Hero award by pal and fellow ERA member, Gawain, who was involved in designing, advertising and taking official photographs of the Christmas festivities.

Mr Cox, of Eastcote, said: "While I wasn't directly involved in the event I witnessed the amount of involvement Ian had. He worked tirelessly to put the Christmas event together, with very little time and without ever asking for anything in return.

"It would be a great shame if such selfless hard work, determination and achievement went without genuine acknowledgement for his efforts."