Aylesbury resident Martin Hywood has been nominated as ‘volunteer of the year’ by national award group Third Sector Awards after raising £120,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Martin was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a group of muscle diseases that results in increasing weakening and breakdown of skeletal muscles, 20 years ago, and almost immediately set about raising money and awareness.
He said: “As a family we decided to be positive about it and raise funds.”
The catalyst for his most recent success was an extremely moving short video that he made earlier this year with producers Paul Adams and Steve Richmond, also from Aylesbury, about the condition called ‘Muscles Matter’.
It has since had over 100,000 views.
Through his social media connections with the actor Ralph Ineson (Chris Finch in The Office) and Simon Rix from The Kaiser Chiefs, all Leeds United fans, Martin was able to persuade the likes of Alan Shearer, Gabby Logan and Chris Moyles to appear in the video.
He said: “I did it in two takes – that’s where the emotion comes from.”
The Muscles Matter campaign is a year-long effort by a group of fundraisers known as ‘Hywood’s Heroes’ who will also be running marathons and parachuting out of planes, among many other things.
Regarding the nomination, Martin said: “To be nominated for a national award is just the recognition my family and friends deserve.
“I would be nothing without my wife, family and team, and the help and support they constantly give me – helping me to help others.”
The awards ceremony takes place on 20 September at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square in London.
Martin however, is not thinking about lavish black tie events.
He said: “I’m now just wondering what we can do next year!”
The video ‘Muscles Matter’ can be viewed above.
The Hywood’s Heroes team are Alex Easton, Ben Pusey, Ben Still, Claire Darvell, Chris Finnister, David Wild, Heather Curtis, Mark Sammon, Neil Roblett, Rob Holmes and Wayne Martinig.
To find out more about Muscular Dystrophy UK and to donate please visit www.musculardystrophyuk.org