Father’s Day: “I am immensely proud of my children”
To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we spoke to fundraiser and father of two, Tom Finkill.
Tom and his family live in Bury and support the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity. They have so far raised over £15,000 for Children’s Hospital thanks to an idea Tom had during the very first Covid lockdown.
Tom found himself out of work when his job in the events industry was no longer viable, but he knew he wanted to spend his newfound free time doing something for a good cause. He started doing online quizzes for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and then, when businesses started to reopen, he hosted an epic 48-hour quiz broadcast live from his local Red Hall hotel in Bury. The final hours saw his friends and family join him at the hotel to count down the final minutes of the quiz.
Earlier this year, to mark two years since their first fundraiser, the Finkill family once again supported our hospital with another quiz and a balloon – this time at an in-person event giving Tom, his wife Gemma and his children Sofia, now seven, and Charlie, 12, the chance to meet some of the amazing quizzers who have supported him over the past two years.
The Finkill family wanted to raise money for Children’s Hospital after Sofia underwent hip surgery at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. You can read more about Sofia and her operation in our story: Sofia is the inspiration behind the lockdown fundraiser and our follow-up article: Become a Guinness World Record Holder… by Sitting on the Couch.
We’re still waiting to find out if Tom’s 48 Hour Online Quiz made it into the Guinness Books of World Records, but in the meantime we decided to find out what he would do for Father’s Day….
What are you going to do on this Father’s Day?
Usually I work on Father’s Day and unfortunately this year is no different. But I guess Father’s Day is different for everyone – I’m sure there will be plenty of NHS staff who are working dads. And unfortunately, some dads will also spend time in the hospital because they are sick themselves or because they are spending time with a sick child.
But whatever people do for Father’s Day, and whatever day they choose to mark, it’s about celebrating your family and how special that bond is between a father and his children.
Since I’m going to work, our father’s day has been postponed to the following weekend. But Sofia and Charlie always do something nice to surprise me. Sofia could give a present and Charlie could make breakfast with Gemma. I know they will be waiting for me with surprises when we have the opportunity to party.
You have raised over £15,000 for charity. Tell us how it happened.
Well, it started with Sofia having surgery in hospital and since then it has hopefully led to a Guinness World Records listing! We started doing online quizzes during lockdown. I work in the events industry, so not having a job during lockdown really made me look around and study the important things I wanted to do. Sofia’s hospital experiences were the inspiration, as we wanted to give something back to the people who had done so much for her.
It has evolved from a lockdown quiz to a 48-hour online quiz attended by people across the UK. And now we’ve raised over £15,000. When Sofia was lying in her hospital bed, I never imagined it would take us on this journey.
The 48 hour online quiz was tough, both physically and mentally, but the inspiration behind it all and the things that kept me going throughout were Sofia and Charlie.
Why are your children so inspiring?
Sofia has had hip surgery and Charlie is hard of hearing so there are certain tones and levels he can’t hear. Both have had various ailments and things over the years. But both kids have a real “I can do” attitude and they never let things get to them. Not once did they complain or come down. They are just smiling and happy and always doing their best. They are so inspiring.
I am immensely proud of them and they will always be my inspiration. Whether it’s fundraising or other things in life. I couldn’t be more proud to call myself their father.
If you want to find out more about raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, visit our Get Involved Now page.