The nomination comes in honour of Martin’s story, his charity work pre-Eve’s Trust as well as the sad story of losing his mother to Cancer but turning that grief into something positive. Since that moment and together with Clynton Johnson, they have created from scratch, a fully registered Cancer charity that provides Dreams for the people of Doncaster that need it the most.
Martin’s charity work started in 2008 after a work colleague asked for his assistance in raising money for the Children’s Yorkshire Heart Surgery ward in Leeds. The event raised just over £1000 and was the starting point for multiple events for multiple different charities over the next 12-18 months. Ironically It was during half time of a charity football match Martin had organised for Marie Curie Cancer Care that Martin first discovered about his mother’s illness, being diagnosed with Cancer just a few days later.
During Eve’s battle with Level 3 Ovarian Cancer Martin was nominated for an “Unsung Hero Award” for his charity work. Luckily after successfully recovering from her hysterectomy and during a period of remission , Eve was able to join Martin at the awards ceremony. A proud moment for him, being Runner-Up, as well as a poignant moment when taking into consideration Eve would be re-diagnosed with terminal Cancer just 3 months later. Between 2008 – 2010 Martin would raise around £40,000 for the Children’s Yorkshire Heart Surgery, Sheffield Children’s Ward, DRI Chatsworth Suite, McMillan, Marie Curie Cancer Care & Myeloma UK.
In a huge blow, Just 6 months after the awards ceremony, Eve would lose her battle with Cancer in January 2011. Martin and his family were obviously experiencing a period of grief that any family going through the same thing can relate to. However in this period Martin would speak with Clynton Johnson, Clynton would suggest that combining his passion to help with Martin’s charity knowledge, they could continue Martin’s charity work in a way that would honour his mother’s memory for years to come. In that conversation came the birth of The Eve Merton Dreams Trust.
Later that year, July 2011, just 6 months after Eve’s passing, the charity would not only be launched but Martin would win Fundraiser of the Year 2011 at the Pride in Doncaster Awards. The night was an emotional one for Martin whose only wish was his mother could have been there to see him pick up his award.
Since that moment the charity has gone from strength to strength, starting with small tombola stalls at local events and taking part in the local Dragon Boat and officially registered with the charity commission in early 2012. Since that date it has helped over 40 local families & organised dozens of healthy activity fundraising events to involving the local community. The work both Martin & Clynton have dedicated over the last 4 years has allowed the charity to grow to where it is today.
Expanding its team to almost 20 permanent volunteers, all giving their time on the back of Martin & Clynton’s vision to help others. Their goal to answer a Dream, grant a wish or do ANYTHING that could help bring a smile to a Cancer patient and their surrounding family, if only for one day. Something Martin & his family wished they could have done for Eve but due to her condition were simply unable. That work has raised almost £200,000 in just 3 and a half years, taking Martin’s fundraising today to almost £250,000, a quarter of a million pounds. A figure he, Clynton and everyone involved with the charity are very proud of.
“When my mum was poorly Martin was so supportive and I could tell he genuinely cared. He lost his mum and I can’t imagine how painful that was for him but instead of sitting about sad he got up and turned his mums memory into something more special than words can say. He works tirelessly every day, juggling a full time job and the charity to keep people smiling without ever expecting so much as a thank you.
He’s the most selfless person I know”