Ed presented the Points of Light award to Courtney Hughes from Didcot today. Courtney founded Charity Secret Santa when she was 12, gifting 250 presents and now donates 20k all year round.
The Prime Minister has recognised Courtney for raising over £100,000 in gift donations for people in local hospitals, hospices and care homes at Christmas through her ‘Charity Secret Santa’ appeal.
After her great grandmother Elise was admitted to hospital in December 2012, Courtney decided to bring gifts and decorations to people on her ward. Following her great grandmother’s death in March 2013, Courtney established a charity appeal to provide support to patients and vulnerable people across South Oxfordshire every year at Christmas. The number of gifts has increased from 650 in 2013, to 4,000 last year, with a team of 40 volunteers supporting her in collecting and distributing donated items across her local area. Last year Courtney was awarded a ‘British Citizen Award for Voluntary Service’ and was also the ‘Giving Tuesday’ champion.
Courtney is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.