Geoff and Jenny: Our Story

Brianna Middleton-MacPherson

Since 2005 Geoff and Jenny have been volunteering for The Children’s Trust. Geoff has been the official mascot ‘Tadworth the Hound’ while Jenny his ears and eyes. Here, Geoff tells us a little bit more about what they do, and why: “We began supporting The Children’s Trust after our daughter Jacqui died suddenly at 26. Jacqui had wanted to help children with brain injury since the ages of 12 and she did when she joined the charity to work as a health care assistant. She left to get married and had always wanted to return, but this was not to be – so we stepped in instead. We wanted to help in our own small way. How did the Geoff and Tadworth story begin? We ‘met’ Tadworth in a storage shed while we were looking for raffle prizes at The Children’s Trust once we had started volunteering. After five weeks of TLC from Jenny’s sewing kit he was ready for public duty as the new mascot for the charity. His first big appearance was live on Blue Peter in 2005. Since then, we have visited countless racecourses and cricket, rugby and football grounds with Tadworth and our mascot friends. We started with a team of just 12 and have since recruited over 300 mascots across the UK who have helped us to raise inexcess of £75,000, which we hope to make even more during 2017. During the winter months when our races are quieter,  we visit the young people at The Children’s Trust’s rehabilitation centre in Tadworth. It means so much to us both when they meet Tadworth and it makes them smile. Jenny has made Tadworth so tactile, the children enjoy the different textures and also appreciate his long ears! We have had many happy memories at The Children’s Trust. At one of our first visits a young woman was struggling to relax and had her hands clenched. A nurse asked me to put my ‘paws’ next to her hands and move them away slowly. As I did this, the young woman felt the fabric and slowly moved her hands. We were told after that this was the first time she had moved her hands spontaneously in 10 years, something we will never forget.   We have also had the honor of being with The Children Trust at special award presentations, going inside Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing street, among many other important venues. I was also very honoured to carry the Paralympic torch as part of The Children Trust’s team! We love volunteering and would like to thank all of our mascot friends for their hard work in helping us to support The Children’s Trust in the unique way that we do. They are PAWsome!” And we would like to thank Geoff and Jenny for their amazing contribution.
  The mascots gather at Lingfield Park