The Licensing Awards reached a stellar conclusion on Tuesday night (13 September), when Stephen Gould was honoured for his fundraising work for The Light Fund with this year’s Honorary Achievement award.
Introducing the award, Jakki Brown, md of Max Publishing (which owns and organises The Licensing Awards), commented: “Tonight’s recipient really is a true one off and has not just made a difference to those in this industry but has helped change the lives of many across the world as a result of their vision, passion and innate skill at galvanising people.
“However, it is not the deals he has done or facilitated that really sets this individual apart as one of our industry heroes, but how he has used his many talents to become the largest individual fundraiser for The Light Fund, our industry charity.”
Jakki continued: “He not only came up with ridiculous fundraising ideas, but he landed them, persuading others to go against their better judgement and get on board. They have not done it alone, but have very much been the pioneer.
“In 2008 he spearheaded The Light Fund Malta Swim, in 2010 he organised The Light Fund Bobsleigh and of course this year, he broke all records with The Light Fund Channel Swim. These three events alone have raised £332,000 for charities. Just think about that number… it’s huge.”
A clearly moved, and surprised, Stephen, said in his acceptance speech that he was “incredibly humbled and very grateful”.
He commented: “Jakki, Ian, everyone at The Light Fund, licensing industry – not just UK but worldwide – thank you very much indeed. It’s been a pleasure to work in this industry. I came to London for six months, 23 years ago and I’m still here.
“The Light Fund has been incredible – as a former trustee, I have a couple of crazy ideas and then I find people who want to do them with me. It’s been an absolute pleasure – I’m thrilled that we’ve got over the £2 million mark. And this is your charity – everyone single one of you in this room, you’re part of The Light Fund; the support we’ve received and all of the things that you’ve done, has been incredible.
“Thank you very much indeed – I’m incredibly humbled and I’m very, very grateful.”
(Stephen is pictured with Claire Rix, commercial manager at Sambro (category sponsor) and host, Tom Allen).