Sheffield Forgemasters' Mick Barber awarded for charity work

Published: 3 April 2023

Machine Shop Tooling Manager Mick Barber was joined by his close family to accept an Unsung Hero Award from the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire for decades of unwavering support and fundraising for the Bubble Foundation after Mick’s son, Luke, passed away aged just four.

Luke had received treatment for Hyper IgM, an extremely rare inherited immunodeficiency syndrome, but tragically, after a bone marrow transplant, lost his battle with the disease in November 1996.

The High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Lt Colonel RA McPherson MBE, said: “These visits, to meet those who are quietly getting on with incredible acts of selflessness despite their own troubles, have inspired me during my term in office and Mick Barber and his family are no exception.

“Despite the tragic loss of their boy, Luke, Mick and his family have undertaken fundraising activities which make a huge difference to their chosen charity and I am proud to be able to show some gratitude, on behalf of the people of South Yorkshire, for what they have given.”

Mick and his son Greg canoed for two days along the 60-mile Caledonian Canal, from Fort William in the West to Inverness in the East, traversing Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness last summer for the charity and regularly set themselves notable challenges to raise funds.

To date, the family have raised circa £11,500 for the foundation.

Mick Barber said: “We are so grateful that the High Sheriff took time to visit us and to acknowledge our fundraising. This has always been about the Bubble Foundation for us and the immense support they provide to families who are dealing with immunodeficiency diseases.

“I do not seek the limelight, so this was a total surprise, but if it brings a little more recognition to The Bubble Foundation, then I’m happy.”

Gareth Barker, Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is right that Mick and his family are recognised for the amazing work that they put in for The Bubble Foundation and we were delighted to host the presentation in our boardroom.”

You can find more information on The Bubble Foundation by visiting their website:

Left to right: Greg Barber, Fiona Barber, High Sheriff of South Yorkshire - Lt. Colonel R.A. McPherson, Mick Barber and Paula Barber