A young fund-raiser from Stowmarket who has raised more than £35,000 for hospices in East Anglia has been recognised with a British Citizens Award.
Harvey McSloy, from Combs Ford, was one of just 28 people across the country to receive the award at a presentation ceremony at the House of Lords.
Harvey, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday, set up registered charity Trust Maria on July 18, 2013, five days after his mum Maria McSloy died from cancer aged just 49.
Since then, the volunteer-run organisation has raised £36,800 to buy equipment for hospices in East Anglia.
Harvey said it was a shock even to be nominated for the award.
“I see it as a hobby and enjoy what I do so it didn’t feel like I deserved the recognition”, he said.
“I was completely shocked when I found out I had been nominated.
“The ceremony was brilliant. It was a strange thing going to the House of Lords - I felt like a bit of a celebrity going in there.
“The award has given Trust Maria a huge boost.
“If it helps with the trust’s profile and gets more people to want to support the charity then that’s great.”
Co-founder of the awards, Mike Faulkner, said: “It was a very moving occasion as most receiving medals were almost hesitant to accept recognition for their enormous contributions to society.
“Almost every person receiving the honour was humble and never expected recognition for their efforts.”
Trust Maria works to support hospices in East Anglia by raising money and procuring equipment they need itself.
Since it began, the trust has bought specialist equipment for various hospices across Suffolk including a bed for cancer patients at St Nicholas Hospice and a replacement floor in a children’s hospice.
Harvey said he wanted to grow the charity in the future.
“We will keep ploughing on and try and make the trust as big and successful as we can.
“We are looking to branch out into Norfolk and Essex to help as many hospices as we can. We’ll keep going strong and hopefully one day will be up there with the big national charities.”
To find out more about Harvey’s trust visit www.trustmaria.org.uk