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Charlie, aged 13, from Rutland, was diagnosed with a life-threatening chronic kidney disease five years ago. Today, 15 December 2023, he received the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister.
Since Charlie's diagnosis, he has been through intensive daily treatment programmes and numerous medical procedures whilst awaiting a lifesaving kidney transplant. He is determined to help other children and young people who may be going through similar circumstances. He campaigns tirelessly for others in the hope that, in the future, children do not have to endure what he has, and can enjoy their childhood unhindered.
Charlie has independently raised over £17,000 for kidney and associated charities by completing fundraising challenges. He has facilitated courageous conversations about the importance of organ donation, produced educational materials used in academic settings and offered in-person peer support, encouragement and guidance to others.
Charlie is also one of the children involved in the Waiting to Live campaign, sharing his experience of waiting for a kidney transplant. The campaign raises awareness for a number of children waiting for an organ transplant and encourage parents and families to consider organ donation and, it is hoped, register themselves and their children as donors on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
He has been an inspiration to so many children
Congratulating Charlie on his award, Alicia Kearns, Charlie's local MP for Rutland and Melton, said:
"Charlie's brave work fundraising and raising awareness about kidney disease has been truly outstanding, and I am delighted his efforts have been so deservedly recognised by the Prime Minister.
"He has been an inspiration to so many children and young adults suffering from kidney disease across the country, and we are all incredibly proud of him here in Rutland."
"I am extremely honoured to receive the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister. I am particularly proud that this means that kidney disease and organ donation have been discussed and acknowledged within the highest levels of UK Government, which means important conversations are happening in the right places. Thank you so very much for taking the time to recognise this very important subject. Thank you also to Alicia Kearns, my local MP, for nominating me for the award."
Charlie is the 2218th recipient of the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others. Each weekday, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.