A young philanthropist from Stowmarket has become the latest recipient of the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award.
Harvey McSloy, 21, set up the ‘Trust Maria’ charity after his mother Maria died of cancer when he was just 19.
He was so touched by the incredible care that St Elizabeth Hospice provided his mum, he wanted to give something back.
The charity has so far raised around £47,000 to provide equipment and facilities for local hospices.
Trust Maria has provided specialist beds and medical supplies as well as recreational items such as musical instruments and garden furniture.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Harvey has shown great strength in taking the devastating experience of losing his mother Maria, and deciding to try and give something back to those who supported her through her illness.
“The money he has raised has funded equipment that will make a huge difference to others in their darkest hours and he is thoroughly deserving of this Points of Light award.”
Harvey becomes the 343rd winner of the Points of Light award which was developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA, first established by President George H. W. Bush.
Harvey said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to win this award as recognition for all our hard work.
“For me, it’s an added bonus because I really enjoy the fund-raising and events.
“We are a small, independent charity and we do things a bit differently to most.
“Because we do all the buying and administration we can do more with the money we raise - every penny is spent on equipment for the hospices.
“At first we thought about just fund-raising for St Elizabeth Hospice but realised there are so many hospices that do so much work that we wanted to give back a bit of the love and support they so frequently give.
“From there, ‘Trust Maria’ was created.”
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds said: “I am truly thrilled that Harvey’s hard work and fund-raising has been rewarded in this way. The hospice movement is truly fantastic and I’m sure we will see Harvey’s name against other great achievements in this area in the future.”
For more information about Trust Maria please visit www.trustmaria.org.uk.