COURTNEY HUGHES, BCAv
Following a personal experience with an elderly relative, in 2012 Courtney was devastated at how some people where alone and away from loved ones at Christmas. Then only 13 years old, she collected gifts for those in hospital and the vulnerable in the community and gave them a Christmas. In her first year she collected approximately 650 gifts. Sadly, her relative passed away in early 2013 and in her memory Courtney decided to make ‘Charity Secret Santa’ a committed endeavour. Her gifts now number over 8000, given to vulnerable and sick members of the Oxfordshire Community, visiting hospices and end of life units to bring good will and also dispense gifts.
She regularly volunteers and visits the special care baby unit at the John Radcliffe each year, giving gifts and Christmas stockings to every single baby, their siblings, parents and the hospital staff. She has also given hundreds of food parcels to the homeless and organises and hosts a Christmas tea party for the elderly. All this is done despite Courtney having M.E. and being a young carer to her mother.
The gifts have totalled over £100,000. Courtney has been well supported by the charities as well as her MP Mr Ed Vaisey. Courtney will also help in emergency situations with families with food, clothes and refuges. She is passionate about helping others and has always put the needs of others before herself. Nominated by: Claire Hughes