BLOG: Brandon Grindey, Our Fundraiser of the Year!
Published 4 May 2016
We’ve said it before but hey, we’ll say it again, we are very lucky here at Breast Cancer UK to have some truly amazing supporters. For this month’s Q&A post we caught up with Justin Clarke, the Deputy Head Teacher at St John’s Primary School in Wetley Rocks, Stoke-on- Trent. He taught Brandon Grindey, the recent recipient of our Fundraiser of the Year award. He gives us a wonderful insight into this very special young man.
Why did Brandon decide to start fundraising for BCUK?
Brandon’s mum, Donna, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and he said that he wanted to do something to help other sufferers and their families. He said that he wanted to try to make sure that other people wouldn’t have to go through what his family was going through. He also wanted to make sure that his sisters, Frankie-Mae and Lacey, were able to take part too. It has been a real team effort.
How did the school get involved?
We have two charity fundraising mentors in our school: The Oak King and The Willow Queen. Brandon applied to be The Oak King but unfortunately wasn’t successful. Brandon, being the boy he is, decided that wouldn’t stop him and asked me if he could fundraise anyway. We were more than happy to support him in any way we could. Brandon did some research and decided that he wanted to support BCUK.
How many events has he undertaken now?
It would be really difficult to say. He has taken part in a couple of sponsored swims, made and sold Christmas prayer baubles, sung in concerts, held collections and a host of other things with the help and support of both of his sisters. To be honest, it hasn’t particularly been the specific events he has undertaken (although he always approaches them all with such energy and enthusiasm) – it’s more his personality and innate charm which have been his greatest success. Wherever he has appeared, and with the community’s genuine love of the entire Grindey family behind him, people have wanted to help. He has become the focus really. People are drawn to him and his story and have just taken him to their hearts. It’s not even something he “does” – it’s something he HAS.
We’re amazed by Brandon’s efforts but has he always demonstrated a caring nature towards others?
Brandon has always been a very warm and effervescent young man – always smiling and laughing: he has an endearing sense of fun. He loves his sport and is very much a “people person.” He adores his two sisters, and is very protective of them, and they love him so much. He would hate me to make him out to be a saint. He makes no special claims about himself at all – he would refer to himself as “ordinary” BUT, as I have said on numerous occasions: he is living proof that we should never underestimate the ordinary. Brandon is always thoughtful and kind but he truly cares about things he feels are important.
We understand that Brandon has received a couple of awards, could you tell us a little bit more about these awards,
Brandon was awarded “The Award for Community Spirit” at our Pride of St John’s Awards evening in July 2015. He was nominated by the staff in our school and was a very popular winner. In March 201, he was awarded The Judges Special Award at The Staffordshire Dignity Awards. It was a wonderful ceremony and a remarkable day. It was very emotional and just rewards for all of Brandon’s hard work and determination.
Where do you see Brandon going onto in the future?
If ever the phrase “The world is your oyster” applied to anyone - it’s Brandon. He has a definite charm and modesty which people are drawn to. He is confident but does not shout out about his successes – I guess he understands, even at such a young age, that they speak for him. He need say no more. He is a very intelligent young man who works hard and has great academic potential and, he has a wealth of family and friends who love him. What more could he want?
We are all so proud of Brandon’s efforts, and we are delighted to award him with our Fundraiser of the Year Award. Is there a special message that you’d like to give to Brandon?
Absolutely! Brandon, everyone at St John’s is so very proud of you. You fully deserve this award and it is fitting recognition of your commitment and dedication to the needs of others. You are truly inspirational and we will watch with interest and anticipation to see what the future holds for you. You have already walked many miles along the road to manhood and we are proud that we were able to walk some of those miles with you. Huge congratulations Brandon and very best wishes from us all.