CHARITY champion Andy Baker has been rewarded for his fundraising efforts with a special birthday celebration.

The dedicated fundraiser from Didcot has been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his efforts and will go along on Tuesday, June 5 with mum Ann Baker.

Mr Baker, who founded the charitable organisation Play2Give in 2007 to support Oxford Children's Hospital, will meet the Royals, including the Queen on June 5.

The 29-year-old, who was born with a brain injury, said receiving the official invitation was 'emotional'.

He will attend the party on his 30th birthday.

Mr Baker added: "It's my 30th so it's going to be a very special celebration.

"Didcot's mayor Jackie Billington nominated me for the work I have done over the years on behalf of the local community and I'm delighted to have been chosen.

"I will be there on behalf of all the people who have raised funds for Play2Give."

Mr Baker said getting invited to Buckingham Palace was a 'dream come true'.

He said: "I never in a million years thought I would get this or see the day I would get to go to Buckingham Palace, so it's definitely a dream come true.

"It may sound silly but to me this means so much.

"I consider it to be a real achievement to get invited to such a special occasion as this, as I've overcome and fought so much in my life to achieve against many odds medically."

The Royal recognition follows a British Citizen Award last year for services to volunteering and charitable giving.

The former St Birinus School pupil, dubbed ‘Mr Play2Give’, has thrown himself into fundraising over the past 16 years.

Inspired to help others after receiving treatment from birth for a multitude of health problems, Mr Baker is now just £9,000 away from reaching £100,000 – which he hopes to achieve by the end of the year.

Mr Baker began his fundraising mission aged 14 in 2003 to repay the Oxford medical teams who saved his life at birth, and when he was 12.

He set up his successful fundraising organisation, Play2Give, in 2007 to continue the fundraising he first embarked upon at school.

Over the years he has helped raise money for Oxford Children’s Hospital, brain injury charity Headway Oxfordshire, the Footsteps Foundation in Dorchester and other charities.

He has organised a wide range of fundraising events including football tournaments, balls, charity nights, fun days, skydives, walks, Christmas toy drives, and supermarket appeals.

Didcot mayor Jackie Billington said: "I nominated Andy for a Lord Lieutenant's award and was then invited to nominate him for the garden party.

"I thrilled that he will be going along on his birthday - he has shown great dedication and commitment over the years."