A MARFORD man has been congratulated for his fundraising for children across North Wales.
Fundraisers and care staff from one of Wales' leading children's charities, NCH Cymru, warmly congratulated Phil Jones, an IT manager at Airbus, in Broughton, for winning the ITV1 Wales Local Hero competition.
Viewers voted for the 54-year-old father-of-four by tele-poll, as the person in Wales who has contributed most to local community life by helping to improve the lives of others in less fortunate circumstances.
NCH Cymru's Mold-based fundraiser for Wales, Gill Ford, said the award is very well deserved. Even before the ITV1 Wales competition, Phil has long been something of a hero to NCH Cymru.
'He has been absolutely tremendous over the past three years,' she said. 'He has helped to raise funds for the vulnerable and excluded children we work with across Wales - but mainly in North Wales and Montgomeryshire.
'NCH Cymru has 22 projects across North Wales and each one of them has directly benefitted from Phil's central involvement in our North Wales for Children Appeal. As the Appeal gained impact, Phil personally visited most of the projects.'
Phil's efforts really paid dividends.
'Our target for the Appeal was £100,000', said Gill. 'But Phil's support and fundraising dynamism took the final total to almost £121,000.
'Phil was instrumental in involving and encouraging the massive workforce at Airbus to respond to the Appeal and, thanks to him, event after event was organised, ranging from the spectacular Airbus Fun Day to a celebrity Golf Tournament with Real Madrid and England player Michael Owen.
'Phil also persuaded many of his business and social contacts in Liverpool, Cheshire and across North Wales to become involved in the NCH Cymru Appeal.'
One of Gill's challenges over the two years of fundraising for the NCH Cymru North Wales for Children Appeal was to involve as many people as possible and to hold regular fundraising events across North Wales.
'Sometimes I felt the task was overwhelming me, as my health at the time had gone downhill,' she said.
'But Phil was a real pillar of support in countless ways, so much so that I gave him the nick-name The Man Who Never Says No to NCH!
'Phil's efforts were not just focused on bringing money in,' Gill added.
'He was never afraid to roll his shirt sleeves up and get into action - whether it was helping to landscape the garden of our Children and Family Centre in Montgomeryshire, helping to organise the biggest children's Christmas party in North Wales, or organising a trip to Blackpool Pleasure Park or to Euro Disney - Phil was the man driving everything forward.
'It's people like Phil who demonstrate what can be achieved with a little imagination, lots of determination and natural talent of getting things done for those who are less able to help themselves.'
Phil, who was nominated for the competition by his eldest son, Chris, 23, said his achievements are down to his fantastic workforce.
'I'm the chairman of Airbus' charity challenge team and I have a workforce of 38 people who help spread the fundraising gospel around the 7,000 employees at Airbus, which is no easy task.'