A LIFELONG charity fundraiser who has collected more than one hundred million pounds to help sick children has been made on OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Frenchay’s Bob Woodward, who founded CLIC (now CLIC Sargent) after his son Robert was diagnosed with terminal cancer, was named in a list of more 1,000 people who are being honoured for their work this June.
Mr Woodward, 81, who has travelled all over the world helping improve healthcare services for children, said the OBE was a great honour.
“It was a very pleasant surprise,” he said. “I am delighted and it will be lovely to go to Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace for the ceremony.”
For Mr Woodward, a builder, his career in charity work was chosen for him when Robert was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1974 aged eight.
"I began to realise how lucky we were living in Frenchay as we were travelling into Bristol every day," he said. "There were families travelling up from Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and even the Scilly Isles who were curling up at night on tiny beds."
Together with wife Judy he set up CLIC (Cancer and Leukemia in Children ) restored a bungalow near Frenchay Hospital for families of children to use.
In its first year CLIC raised £3,000 to help families across the South West.
“Nobody knew was CLIC stood for in the beginning, we had to go out there and educate people,” said Mr Woodward, who lost a second son Hugh to Down’s Syndrome aged four.
“We got there and it mushroomed and people could see the huge different it was making to have home from home centres, surgeries, break facilities and crisis centres.”
CLIC went international and Mr Woodward has travelled to Canada, Russia and Hungary to help children in need.
After retiring from the charity in 1997, he began working with Almondsbury-based charity Starfish which helps children with Down’s Syndrome.
He has attended more than 300 children’s funerals and is patron of Meningitis UK.
“I am still amazed I was ever given the strength, energy and enthusiasm to do what I have done,” said Mr Woodward, who has lived with inoperable prostate cancer for the past 11 years. “My own family, my wife Judy, daughter Rachel and son James have been wonderful.
“They have had to make many sacrifices and have done so willingly.”
Of the staggering amount of money he has raised, he said: “Every year people said what is the target this year and I would say it as much as we can possibly raise.
“You can never have a limit to it.”
Having received a Pride of Britain award in 2011 and the Freedom of the City in Bristol, Mr Woodward said his walls were quite full already.