Whitley Bay superdad wins prestigious award

Seb and Ivan Hollingsworth.'Pixcure by Jane Coltman
Seb and Ivan Hollingsworth.'Pixcure by Jane Coltman

An inspirational fund-raiser who has raised more than £500,000 for the hospital unit which saved his son’s lie has won a prestigious award.

Ivan Hollingsworth was named Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of North East in honour of his eight years of charity fund-raising efforts.

In that time, he and his wife Nadine have raised more than £500,000 for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).

They felt compelled to thank the unit at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, after their son Seb received lifesaving heart surgery at just 16 weeks old.

Under the name Seb4CHUF, they have taken part in fund-raising challenges, including seven Coast to Coast events, Ivan running 100 miles in 24 hours ,and even skiing down a mountain in nothing but a mankini.

Ivan completed his final and most physically gruelling fundraiser last October.

For ‘Half a Million Half a Country’, he travelled from London back to the doors of the Freeman Hospital, cycling 268 miles and then running 52 miles in a total time of 32-and-a-half hours.

Speaking of his award, Ivan said: “It kind of blew me away if I’m honest.

“It was a very humbling experience to be surrounded by so many amazing people in the room and to hear so many unbelievable stories of heroism and bravery.”

Ivan was further honoured to have his family and supportive friends in attendance.

“There are so many people that also deserve credit; Seb and my wife Nadine, my best mate Andy Roberts has been with me through it all, and Nick Gilks my physio who only slept for 20 minutes through the Half a Million Half a Country challenge.”

He added: “Over the course of eight years, so many people have contributed to us raising over £500,000, many of whom we didn’t know prior to Seb being born, yet it feels like they are now a part of our family.”

Ivan said: “It is an absolute honour to receive this Award.

“It is recognition for everyone in our Seb4CHUF Family, who have worked so hard to support us over the last 8 years and raise a staggering £500,000 for CHUF.”

Former professional football player Steve Harper and Geordie Shore star Vicky Pattison were among the celebrities in attendance and were honoured to present Ivan with his award on stage with nine-year-old Seb getting a hug from Step’s Faye Tozer.