PM awards ‘Tadworth the Hound’ local heroes

The Prime Minister has recognised Geoff and Jenny Smith for creating a mascot that has raised more than £75,000 for ‘The Children’s Trust,’ a UK charity that helps children and young people with brain injuries. When their daughter Jacqui passed away aged 26, the couple vowed to raise money for the charity where Jacqui had worked as a healthcare assistant. For over a decade, Geoff has dressed up as the charity’s mascot ‘Tadworth the Hound’, while Jenny acts as his eyes and ears. They visit The Children’s Trust’s specialist centre for rehabilitating children with brain injuries in their uplifting costume, bringing smiles to the children’s faces. Geoff and Jenny organise mascot races each year up and down the country to increase their fundraising, and have inspired the more than 300 other mascots to support The Children’s Trust. Geoff and Jenny are the latest recipients 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. In a personal letter to Geoff and Jenny, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “You should be proud of how your innovative fundraising is lifting the spirits of young people across ‘The Children’s Trust’. It is an incredibly fitting tribute to the memory of your daughter Jacqui.” Dalton Leong, Chief Executive of ‘The Children’s Trust’ said: Geoff and Jenny Smith have been loyal and committed volunteers for The Children’s Trust since 2005 and this award is well deserved. They do invaluable work travelling the country organising mascot races to raise money to support work of The Children’s Trust. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation, and it is incredible to see volunteers like Geoff and Jenny recognised in this way for their contribution over the past 12 years.” Geoff and Jenny said: “We are so very grateful to receive this award, and it means so much to us. We are honoured to volunteer for The Children’s Trust and very humbled by this recognition.” Geoff and Jenny are the 797th and 798th winners of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 5,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards. Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

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