A DIDCOT man who has lived with a brain injury since birth has been recognised with a national award for his tireless contribution to Oxfordshire charities for the last 15 years.

For Andrew Baker his charitable and voluntary journey began when he was just a 14-year-old schoolboy at St Birinus.

Now 29 he has raised more than £70,000 for charity and has been given a British Citizen Award (BCA) for his services to volunteering and charitable giving.

But for Mr Baker keeping mum about the award was far harder than any of the fundraising extravaganzas he has organised over the years.

He said: “I love doing what I do to make a difference for others for charities closest to my heart, but’s really nice to get that nod of appreciation and thanks.

“It’s really lovely too to be receiving this in my fifteenth year of fundraising and the tenth anniversary of Play2Give.

“It’s a real tribute to the thousands of people who have helped, been involved with and supported me over the years including my small ever-growing P2G team.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”

Since his school days Mr Baker has raised more than £57,300 for the children’s hospital alone after the support he received following a major brain injury he endured when he was 12.

He established his own fundraising organisation, Play2Give, in 2007, to support the hospital and brain injury charity Headway Oxfordshire.

Cash raised by Mr Baker for Headway has been used to redevelop its activity and rehabilitation centre and eight new pieces for the county’s first neurological physiotherapy gym.

Earlier this year a patient room for teenagers, ‘The Play2Give Room’, named after and funded by the organisation was unveiled at the hospital.

After his popular football tournament gained momentum, he decided to set up something a little more festive and for the past two years has orchestrated Sleigh2Give to spread joy to sick children in hospital over the holidays.