HALTON Haven, founded by a Runcorn dad, celebrated its 30th birthday by saying thank you to everyone who helped to make his dream come true.

Crusading Dom Valdez, from Palacefields, who sadly died in 1999, aged 59, devoted his life to creating an oasis where cancer patients could receive tender, loving care.

Friends who knew him personally were among guests at a birthday party and awards evening at The Holiday Inn on Friday.

Local businesses, community groups and individuals received awards.

Ciaran Clotworthy, hospice event manager, said: “It was a really happy celebration of our success over the past 30 years, thanking everyone who has supported us.

“We wanted everyone to celebrate the hospice, remember loved ones and enjoy the night.

“We must issue our congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

“Everyone was in good spirits and never lost touch of the reason why we were all there together.”

Barbara Jordan, chief reporter of The Runcorn and Widnes World, received the Media Support Award.

She said: “I was so inspired by Dom. He was an incredible charismatic man who never gave up hope.

“He always appreciated every penny that was donated.

“He would be so proud now to see how all the staff, trustees, volunteers, families and businesses have rallied round to turn his vision into a reality.”

Hospice medical director, Dr Dave Robertson, who received the Lifetime Service Award, commended Dom’s indomitable spirit from the very first day he spoke of his dream.

Other award winners included: Corporate Supporter Award Halton Housing Trust, Community Supporter Award The Spurr family, Long Standing Support Award Westfield Mob, School Support Award Astmoor Primary, Volunteer Long Service Award Kath McDermott, Dot Purvis and Betty Ford, Best Costume Fun Award Sarah Ledsham and Jenny Bailey.