A KEEN fundraiser who has raised thousands for local causes was honoured with the Unsung Hero award.

Jackie Keep has been involved in fundraising from an early age, and helped her mother to organise garden parties to raise money and awareness for local charities. Unfortunately, Jackie lost her mother 20 years ago, but has continued the goal of raising money.

Emily Palmer, marketing manager of Festival Place, which sponsored the award, said: “Jackie really is a true unsung hero who started fundraising at an early age, influenced by her mother. She continues to do so with a goal of raising £40,000 for her 40th birthday.”

That leads to one of her more well-known endeavours, her ’40 in 40’ challenge, which was an endeavour that Jackie took to raise £40,000 for charities for her 40th birthday, which she completed in 2015. Some of the charities benefitting include: Basingstoke Foodbank, St Michael’s hospice, and Oxfam.

Speaking to the Gazette after collecting her award, Jackie said: “I’m a bit stunned after getting the award, but I’m really proud of it. It’s amazing that I’ve been given it, and all my fundraising hasn’t been a solo effort.

“My 84-year-old father has been a great help when things have been flagging. When training for running events and spirits are low and I felt like giving up, him having a roast dinner ready for me when I came back really made everything better.

“I’m lucky in that I have a really good team of friends who support me, and that really helps.”

Just some of the activities that Jackie has participated in include organising events such as quiz nights and sales, black tie events and discos, all in the name of good causes. Most of these took place in the time that Jackie was raising for her ‘40 in 40’ challenge that she set herself.

One of the more tiring activities was a recent 100km charity walk from Petersfield to Brighton.

Jackie added: “It’s really nice to get some recognition for the work that I’ve been doing, but it still is a team effort, and I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m a person who gets on and organises things, and that has helped lots of charities.”

RUNNERS UP: Dilys Buchan and Beryl Huntingdon