A Night of Courage, Compassion, and Celebration: House of Coco Founder Laura Bartlett Joins the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards..

In the hushed glow of The New Dock, on that crisp Friday night of October 13th, I found myself immersed in a world unlike any other. The air was electric with anticipation, an energy fuelled by the collective spirit of over 700 souls, each one a testament to the unyielding Yorkshire resilience. The occasion was the annual Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards, a night that transcends the ordinary, honouring the extraordinary bravery of ten remarkable young individuals and their families.

The Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards is a unique annual event that raises vital funds for the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation and recognises Yorkshire’s bravest young people. The room buzzed with stories of indomitable spirits, tales of individuals who, despite the challenging hand fate had dealt them, continued to rise. It was a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit, a celebration of life’s unsung heroes.

Record-breaking sum

The night, however, was not merely about accolades and applause; it was a beacon of compassion and generosity. The staggering sum of £76,000, raised that evening, echoes the profound generosity of those present. Every pound, matched by St. James’s Place, symbolised a collective commitment to making a difference. Ewan Dowes, the chair of St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, aptly captured the essence of the evening, acknowledging the tireless support that flowed from the hearts of Yorkshire’s people.

Commenting on the event, Ewan Dowes, chair of St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, said:

‘’A massive thank you to all those who supported another amazing Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards. We raised a record-breaking sum of money on the night, which means. we can continue to provide vital funding through our local office grants program to charities across the Yorkshire region.’

Charities such as Leeds Children’s Charity, Support Dogs and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund have all benefited from SJP recently, enabling them to continue their incredible work. We’re eternally grateful for every single person that chose to dig deep and help out.’’

The event can only happen due to the support of so many Yorkshire businesses including this year’s headline sponsor Mahmood Mazhar of Core Telecom. Speaking on the event, Mahmood said:

“What an incredible night, it was an absolute honour to not only support but also celebrate the achievements and resilience of these children and young adults and their families”.

Uplifting event

Other businesses that kindly donated their time and some incredible raffle prizes included Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Boodles, The Ivy Asia, First Direct Arena, Dakota Hotel, Rebecca Rhoades Dress Designer, and Harvey Nichols, to name but a few.

Yorkshire caterers Aagrah provided the 700 guests with a sumptuous Indian banquet, while Slingsby Gin kindly donated the drinks reception. Leeds-based jeweller, Philip Stoner, kindly donated a 3-carat diamond necklace worth £5000 for the main charity prize.

Jon Ellis, Regional Director of St James Place, said:

“Another amazing night celebrating some truly inspirational Children of Yorkshire, an amazing amount of money raised for St James Charitable Foundation which will allow us to support more local charities and good causes in 2024”.

The stories of Maya and Macy Burrow, daughters of Leeds Legend Rob Burrow, receiving the Compassionate Carer of the Year award, resonated deeply. Their triumph was not just a personal victory but a testament to the enduring power of love and care.

There was also a touching tribute to award nominee Oliver Howe, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Oliver’s parents were there on the night to honour his memory and legacy.

Songwriter and supporter of the charity, Rebecca Di Giorgio, wrote a charity song called Hero, accompanied by musicians from The Queen Elizabeth Grammar School which was performed on the night. The song will be released later in the year with proceeds going to the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation.

The Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards is more than just an event; it is a lifeline for many. This unique gathering not only recognizes the exceptional achievements of Yorkshire’s bravest young hearts but also serves as a beacon of hope. It illuminates the path for these young souls, reminding them that they are not alone on their journey.

As the night drew to a close, the echoes of applause lingered in the air. The 2024 event, already in its planning stages, promises another chapter of inspiration and compassion. It’s a reminder that the work of the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards is ongoing, that the impact of this evening will reverberate far beyond the walls of The New Dock.

For me, as a witness to this extraordinary gathering, it was not just an event; it was a profound lesson in the resilience of the human spirit. It was a night of courage, compassion, and celebration, a testament to the unwavering Yorkshire spirit that refuses to be broken, no matter the challenges faced. As I left the venue, my heart was lightened by the knowledge that amidst life’s trials, there exists a community bound by love, compassion, and an unyielding determination to make the world a better place, one courageous step at a time.

To find out more about all the amazing work the charity does and see how your support can make a real difference to so many lives, please visit www.yorkshirechildren.co.uk


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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