MBE for Hampstead ChildLine chairman who has raised millions
PUBLISHED: 22:30 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:52 13 June 2015
A Hampstead charity campaigner who has helped raise millions of pounds for ChildLine has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Tom Toumazis, the chairman and founder of the ChildLine Board, has been awarded an MBE following his 11 years dedication to the confidential helpline for children and young people.
Tom, 53, who has helped raise more than £8 million for the service, “stumbled into” supporting ChildLine after running the London Marathon to raise money for the cause in 2004, after his friend had a spare charity place.
Since his initial run, the Yahoo Head of Partnerships for Europe has ran the marathon five more times in aid of the charity, and plans to take part next year to mark ChildLine’s 30th anniversary.
He said: “It’s an incredible honour to be recognised in this way. I am quite overwhelmed and still can’t quite believe it.
“I’ve been involved with ChildLine and the NSPCC for over 11 years and have come across so many people inside and outside the charity who are far more deserving than me. I am especially grateful to everyone on the ChildLine Board who have worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness within the media and entertainment industry for this amazing charity.”
He launched the ChildLine-20 fundraising board in January 2005 and since 2010 has been the Founding Chair of the ChildLine Board, leading a team of senior volunteers to help raise vital funds for the 24/7 helpline.
Father-of-three Tom, who lives in Hampstead village and whose wife Helen is a ChildLine volunteer counsellor, has worked with TV brands such as Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent, and Downton Abbey, to develop the TV-themed annual ChildLine Ball.
He also co-founded the monthly Monday Movie Club, alongside Lynne Millar, which screens exclusive previews of upcoming films, that has helped raise a further £250,000 for the helpline.
Dame Esther Rantzen, President of ChildLine, said: ‘Tom’s tireless work to support ChildLine has been fantastic. His unwavering energy – from chairing the ChildLine board to running six marathons for us – is inspiring, and has resulted in literally millions of pounds being raised through his efforts, which has transformed the lives of children. His dedication truly deserves to be recognised, and I am so pleased that he has been honoured with this award.’
Peter Wanless, CEO of NSPCC, said: ‘Tom’s commitment and contribution to ChildLine over the past 11 years has been exceptional. He has been instrumental in helping to raise vital funds and awareness for ChildLine.”
See Thursday’s Ham&High for a full list of Birthday Honours recipients in Camden, Barnet, Haringey and Westminster.