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Harry Smith wins JustGiving Young Fundraiser of the Year!

He has raised more than £29,000 for The Charity in memory of his sister, Emily.

Harry Smith has achieved something incredible at the age of just 12. He won the Young Fundraiser of the Year at this year’s JustGiving Awards after not only raising a huge amount of money for us, but also raising awareness of brain tumours.


Harry Smith with his sister Emily in a during with a sunset
Harry and Emily

This was all in memory of his younger sister Emily who was diagnosed with a diffuse midline glioma when she was eight years old.

Emily’s diagnosis came in July 2022 after feeling ‘unusual’ and having weakness on her right side just a few days before. Emily was referred to hospital where she had an MRI which revealed the tumour in her brain. She sadly died just 11 days later.

Diffuse midline gliomas are one of the most common types of brain tumour in children. Currently there is no cure – something we are determined to change.  


To honour Emily, Harry completed several difficult challenges to raise money and help accelerate a cure. This included activities that him and Emily loved to do: swimming, hiking and bike riding.

Harry swam a mile, climbed Scafell Pike and cycled the 75km from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to his home in St. Albans – the journey home his sister was not able to make. 

Harry Smith with his parents with their bikes after a 75km ride.
Harry with his parents after his 75km bike ride
Harry Smith before his one mile swimming challenge. He is holding a red The Brain Tumour Charity banner.
Harry’s one mile swimming challenge
Harry Smith climbing Scafell Pike in his red The Brain Tumour Charity T-shirt.
Climbing Scafell Pike

Harry Smith Young Fundraiser of the Year!

Harry was one of three incredible finalists for this award.

With his speech written on the back of a photo of Emily, Harry said:

Thank you to everyone who has voted for me and donated. The money raised will make such a difference to help find a cure for brain tumours like Emily’s. I’d also like to say a big well done to the other finalists, Alba and Seren, you are both incredible.
I am dedicating this award to my sister, Emily, who I miss so much. I hope I can continue to make her proud as I will be fundraising forever. Thank you.”

Harry Smith, JustGiving Young Fundraiser of the Year
Harry Smith with his parents and The Brain Tumour Charity's community fundraiser, Liam MacKinder.

Harry’s story leaves me at a loss for words. Seeing someone so young turn the devastating loss of his sister, Emily, into a way of helping others is absolutely astounding. 
Harry really is an extraordinarily brave and admirable young man and thoroughly deserves this fantastic recognition for what he has achieved in Emily’s memory.
Celebrating the accomplishments of Harry and some of our other fundraisers and charities at the GoCardless JustGiving Award Ceremony was amazing – they should all be so proud of what they’ve achieved and the impact that they’ve had.”

Pascale Harvie, JustGiving president

Gina Almond, Head of Fundraising at The Brain Tumour Charity said:

“Harry is just incredible. Not only has he raised a huge amount of money for The Charity, but he has also achieved an enormous amount at such a young age and raised so much awareness about brain tumours.  

“The challenges he has completed have been inspirational and he is a worthy winner of this award. Well done Harry – on behalf of everyone at The Brain Tumour Charity!”