On Friday 1 September, seventeen year old Tom Winchester from Bridgwater held a fundraising concert for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

The ‘Written in the Stars’ concert was the finale of a fundraising journey that began almost two years ago to celebrate Tom’s 10 year anniversary of recovering from a life-threatening brain tumour.

When Tom was five years old, he underwent major surgery at the children’s hospital to have the brain tumour removed. To thank the staff for the brilliant care he received as a child, Tom set out to raise £5,000 by organising sponsored walks, a school disco, a charity football match and other smaller activities and collections.

For his finale event, Tom not only organised the entertainment for the evening - including getting Sony Classical recording artist and Britain's Got Talent finalist Charlotte Jaconelli to perform - but also sought out great prizes for an auction and raffle, to raise as much money as possible for his cause. 

Speaking about what has inspired his efforts, Tom said: 

“I’m always asked why I fundraise for Above & Beyond and it’s simply because I want to repay the doctors and nurses at the children’s hospital for saving my life all those years ago, and for the fantastic work they continue to do every single day. What better way to celebrate being alive than organising fun events, meeting new people and helping a fantastic cause at the same time."

In the run up to the concert, Tom appeared on Dr Phil Hammond's BBC Radio Bristol show, as well as on BBC Radio Somerset and his story was covered by local newspapers and websites.

Everyone at Above & Beyond has been so impressed with Tom's fundraising efforts and Community Fundraising Officer Amy Barnard-Smith, who attended the concert, said: 

“What Tom has achieved at such a young age is fantastic! He’s put so much effort into organising all of these events and has raised a huge amount of money. He managed to pull together some brilliant auction and raffle prizes and made a total success of the concert, and all while studying for his first year at college! We want to thank him for choosing to raise awareness and funds for Above & Beyond that will help us support patients and the dedicated NHS staff that work so tirelessly to care for them."

Tom’s current fundraising figure stands at an amazing £6,250 but it won’t stop there! Actress Stephanie Beacham, who was due to attend the concert but unfortunately cancelled at the last minute, donated a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes which will be auctioned at Tortworth Court's Glitter Ball and added to Tom's fundraising total for Bristol children's hospital. All ticket and auction proceeds from the Glitter Ball will be donated to Above & Beyond. 

Once again, we just want to say a massive thank you to Tom for all the time and effort he has put into his fundraising over the past two years. It's been amazing to see it all come together and we're all very proud of him!

Find out how you can fundraise for Bristol city centre hospitals here