Caitlin Jones, aged 22, from Darwen has been raising awareness and funds for cancer charities after losing her Dad to the disease when she was aged just 12. She channelled all her grief into doing so, not just for a short period of time, but has continued to do so for 10 years, raising almost £30,000
Caitlin turned a negative into a positive, which for a 12-year-old at the time was outstanding, whilst also dealing with her own health issues. Despite this, she has put her own health issues aside to help others, working tirelessly to bring a community together.
Caitlin’s passion for East Lancashire Hospice started when she received counselling after her dad died. She is a frequent visitor and her regular chats with the patients keep her passion alive. There are many examples of her dedication and achievements including, ‘Show Your Knees For Nigel’, the name of her Dad. For this fundraiser she simply asked for people to wear their shorts to work or school and pay one pound each. This attracted a great deal of attention and involved promotion with the Blackburn Rovers Football Club manager, the local radio station visited a participating school or business each day to broadcast, and it achieved plenty of local media interest.
She has shown a great deal of tenacity in raising funds and was determined to raise £10,000 in recognition of 10 years since her father died.
The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.
Caitlin, is one of 29 medalists honoured at a prestigious ceremony on Thursday July 5th, at the Palace of Westminster. All BCA recipients have selflessly undertaken various activities in support of a number of worthy causes. Each received a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medalists are also able to use the initials BCA after their name.
Speaking about her nomination, Caitlin said: “I was so overwhelmed to hear that I had been nominated for a BCA and even more excited to hear that I am going to be awarded a BCAv in Westminster Palace in London in July. I’ve never been to London so I’m very excited. I will accept the Award on behalf of everyone who has supported me over the last 10 years and who have helped create Smiles for all those who desperately need a Smile at East Lancashire Hospice and various other Cancer Charities. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
British Citizen Award Patron, Dame Mary Perkins said: “Giving back to our communities is at the heart of Specsavers’ vision and values, so we are delighted to support this inspirational awards programme. Each medal recipient has demonstrated a commitment to others that makes them the unsung heroes of our country and they thoroughly deserve to have a light shone on their selfless endeavours”.
The awards are sponsored by the world’s largest optical retailer, Specsavers; one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK, Places for People; and worldwide leader in IT and networking, Cisco. Each had representatives at the medal presentation ceremony which was hosted by TV Presenter and host, Michael Underwood who stated: “Having presented the very first British Citizen Awards, it was a real honour to be invited back and a privilege to meet the incredible people being recognised for their contribution to society”.