Ceri Menai-Davis recognised with Toby Sunderland Award after cancer loss led to charity launch

Ceri Menai-Davis recognised with Toby Sunderland Award after cancer loss led to charity launch


A PGA Professional whose extraordinary demonstration of selflessness and giving at a time of loss and grief has been named as the 2022 recipient of The PGA’s Toby Sunderland Award.

The award highlights the outstanding charity work undertaken by PGA Professionals, and amongst a high number of potential winners, Ceri Menai-Davis’ story was chosen as the most worthy nominee.

In October, 2020, Menai-Davis’ five-year-old son Hugh was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer where tumours can develop in any part of the body. Over the following six months Hugh bravely underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

In May the following year, he rang the bell at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to signal the end of his treatment as an inpatient. Tragically, Hugh suffered an aggressive relapse in late summer and died on September 18, less than three weeks after his sixth birthday.

It was the worst of times for Ceri, his wife Frances and their family. And yet out of such sorrow, the Hertford couple have created something very special. They have established a rapidly-developing charity called ‘It’s Never You’ supporting parents of children with cancer.

The charity has already raised over £200,000 and at its hub is an app (‘The Children’s Cancer Platform), promoted in a growing number of children’s hospitals, which has assisted in growing a community of parents just like Ceri and Frances. And for the Menai-Davis family, It’s Never You is acting as a powerful legacy for Hugh through which his courage and kindness live on each day.

“I am humbled and thrilled to have been named as the winner of the 2022 Toby Sunderland Award,” said Ceri, who was presented with his award at a recent Regional Members’ Meeting for PGA Professionals at Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club.

“It was a nice surprise when I learnt that I had been nominated for it by the PGA in England, East region. But to find out that I am the overall recipient of the award is a little overwhelming.

“It’s also correct to say that this feels like a joint-award because my wife Frances has been every bit as involved in driving forward ‘It’s Never You’, since we decided to start it. We wanted to create something positive that could provide help and support to families when they needed it most – and also to serve as a legacy to our son Hugh’s warm heart and courage.”

Ceri is a director at The Shire London and as part of his ongoing fundraising efforts, the 39-year-old will be joined by fellow PGA professional and YouTube star, Rick Shiels, as a part of a five-person team running this year’s London Marathon for It’s Never You.

More than 100 families have downloaded the It’s Never You app, and Ceri wants others, including his fellow PGA Professionals, to help raise funds and awareness.

He added: “It has been so uplifting to be part of ‘It’s Never You’ as it’s grown and see the great impact it is having up and down the country. If any PGA Member knows of any child or any parents that’s going through cancer, please get in contact with us. We can be that supportive rock for them that they need.”

Commenting on the 2022 Toby Sunderland Award, Robert Maxfield, Chief Executive of The PGA, said: “Many of our Members do fantastic charity work every year raising thousands for all sorts of charities and we are very proud of each nomination for Toby Sunderland Award.

“Congratulations to Ceri on winning the 2022 award. His story is an inspiration to us all and I would like to congratulate Ceri and his wife for the fantastic work they are doing in raising awareness and money for the ‘It’s Never You’ charity.”


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