A man who founded a children’s charity after his late wife’s fundraising idea took off has been nominated for a prestigious award.
Robert Breakwell has made it to the final of the national Pride of Britain Awards, which are backed by Prince Charles and David Cameron.
The father of two, who set up the Pepper Foundation in 1988, said: “It makes me feel very proud but it also makes me feel a little guilty because I think so much of the work over the last 25 years has been done by all the people around me who always rise to the challenge.”
The children’s home nursing charity was founded following the success of staging the Beatle’s Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album – an idea dreamed up by Robert’s first wife in 1988.
Karen lost her battle to cancer in that year, so Robert, with family and friends, decided to drive ahead with her fundraiser, which in its first year raised £11,000.
“Three or four years in we were thinking: ‘This is going to run and run, and what are we going to do with the money we are raising?
“We were giving it to local hospices at that time,” said Robert.
He approached the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home – now Rennie Grove Hospice Care – and asked if it would run a children’s nursing service if Pepper provided the cash.
It went ahead and today there are six nurses caring for around 50 children each year.
As part of the award nomination Robert has been visited by an ITV film crew who are creating a two-and-a-half minute clip about him and the cause, which will be shown on morning show Daybreak.
Tring couple Christine and Eddie Hodgson and their terminally ill 13-year-old son Jamie were filmed, too.
Robert said: “Hopefully it will tell a good story about how the charity was founded and how it has gone on to help youngsters like Jamie.”
“It is going to be terrific for the charity to get that national profile whatever happens.”
The 55-year-old, who lives in Aston Clinton, will find out if he is an award winner early next month.
He said: “Of course I’m hoping to win.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a super competitive person but really I want to win because I want to do all the people that have nominated me proud.”