P&G winners’ stories: Carol Rowntree

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  • In November P&G, the Proud Sponsor of Mums, launched the Champion Mums’ Foundation: A campaign offering hardworking mums the chance to be awarded a bursary from a whopping £150,000 pot. The only stipulation was that the award had to be used towards making a positive difference to the winners’ lives as mums, to their family or to the community. Here mum Carol Rowntree, tells us what winning the prize meant to her…

    ‘As my son Connor, got ready for his first go-karting race in over a year, I couldn’t help but remember the hell we’d been through.

    ‘I’ll never forget the date: 17 May 2009. Connor was at a mate’s house, what I didn’t know was that they were playing with aerosols.

    ‘A can exploded and Connor was engulfed in flames. He was rushed to hospital straightaway, with his skin hanging off, and was given no chance of survival.

    ‘Me, my hubby Neil and our daughters prepared for the worst. But somehow Connor fought through. He went on to have 100 operations and skin grafts. And after nearly a year in hospital he was finally allowed home. His next milestone was his first go-karting race.

    ‘Is it any surprise that I was feeling protective? But Connor did brilliantly and soon he was back go-karting on a regular basis.

    ‘Then a couple of months later we had a call from the Tyne and Wear Fire Service. “They want us to do a talk at a school,” I said to Connor. “To explain the dangers of playing with aerosols.”

    ‘Connor was nervous but agreed to come along. And he did a great job, the kids engaged with him and asked him lots of questions.

    ‘We were also asked to make a video about what had happened to be shown at future school visits. So we made The Journey of Connor Rowntree.

    ‘Soon Connor and I were accompanying a fire officer to these talks once a month so kids could learn from Connor’s mistake.

    ‘Then the Fire Service had its funding cut. It meant we couldn’t afford to carry on the visits. It was a real blow as we had hoped to expand the workshops.

    ‘Then Neil read about the P&G Champion Mums’ Foundation in Chat, which was offering mums bursary awards to help themselves, their family or community.

    “This is just the sort of thing we need,” I said as I applied. I didn’t expect to hear back, but a couple of months later…

    “You’ve been successful!” We had enough money for 25 visits across the north. Amazing!

    ‘This will allow Connor, now 18 and at college, to continue to be part of the workshops. I’m so proud of him and have no doubt this money will help save lives.’


    Behind the prize

    For the past 170 years, P&G has been developing products to make mums’ lives that little bit easier, such as Vicks, Oral-B and Braun. As the Proud sponsor of Mums, it’s helping in other ways to say a big thank you for all the amazing things mums do. Find out more at thankyoumum.pg.com