A serial fundraiser and volunteer from Dromore, Co Down, has won a competition organised by Autoline Insurance and the News Letter to celebrate the best of community life in Northern Ireland.
Peter Branker, 46, was nominated for his passion for helping local charities through fundraising activities.
These have included white water rafting down the Zambezi River in Zambia, wing walking outside London, sky diving at Garvagh and abseiling down Belfast City Hospital Tower Block.
He is currently planning to paraglide over the Alps next year.
Peter’s achievements are all the more remarkable given that he lost both a leg and an eye to childhood cancer.
Among the charities he has supported are The Friends of the Cancer Centre, Macmillan Cancer Care, We Cancervive, Cancer Research UK, Cancer Focus, NSPCC, Alzheimer’s Society and Via Wings.
Peter also works part time at the Dromore Youth and Community Resource Centre, helping kids and young adults with Learning Difficulties, including those on the autism spectrum and those with physical disabilities.
Caroline Currie, Sales Director at Autoline Insurance, said: “Autoline’s ethos is ‘We’re With You’ and we wanted to celebrate those in the community who epitomise those values.
“Peter has overcome his own difficult circumstances, turning them into an opportunity to help others. It’s an inspiring story and he’s a worthy winner.”
Accepting his prize, a luxury overnight stay in the Galgorm Hotel and Spa Resort, Peter said: “I love being able to make a difference to those around me.
“I really enjoy it and I’m continually impressed by how generous and encouraging people are.
“I’m delighted to have even been nominated for the competition and am really looking forward to enjoying the prize.”
The News Letter’s editor, Alistair Bushe, added: “Peter’s is a truly remarkable and inspiring story.
“Despite his own very difficult circumstances, he has devoted his life to helping others in our community who are very much in need. I was moved reading about his fundraising, Peter is a deserving winner of this competition.”
Peter recently helped raise £800 for Children in Need and regularly organises street collections, five-a side football tournaments, themed discos, pub quizzes and ‘Stars in Their Eyes’ events as part of his fundraising initiatives.