A REMARKABLE teenager who has raised thousands of pounds for a local hospice has been honoured with a prestigious award in London.
For the past seven years, Keira-Louise Arnold has been supporting Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham, which cared for her dad Stephen Greaves before he died of stomach cancer in 2012 aged 28, when she was just four years old.
Keira has raised over £47,000 for the Royton-based hospice and set up ‘Keira’s Wishes’ to help those suffering from terminal illness achieve their last wishes.
The 15-year-old, from Derker, is hoping to hit £50,000 by Christmas to support the hospice and has set up a GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/f/keiras-wishes where you can donate.
Keira helped to organise hugely successful virtual markets during the pandemic and many celebration day raffles, while her craft skills have seen her make and sell anything from cards and baubles to wreaths and bookmarks.
Her sole aim to help make special forever memories for the hospice’s patients and families has seen weddings, early Christmas days and trips to the seaside.
Keira has also used some of the funds she’s raised to buy smart TVs for each of the 12 patient beds in the new In-Patient Unit, and paid for each of the hospice’s Wellbeing Centre patients to have a Christmas gift during Covid.
She continues to raise funds and awareness and inspire others in the community to fundraise for the hospice.
Keira and her family have been to The Palace of Westminster, where she was presented with a British Citizen Youth Award Medal of Honour by Nicky Cox MBE, Editor in Chief of First News.
Keira was one of 24 selfless young people from across the UK who have made a difference in their communities and to society to receive the honour.
“I really enjoyed the day,” she said. “It’s really nice when you get recognised for doing something that makes you happy anyway. Hearing all the different stories from all the other young people there was good. It’s amazing how we’re all helping in our own way.”
Her mum Stacey Arnold loved being part of a really special day.
“It was heartwarming to see and speak to different young people and hear their stories about what’s important to them and what they’re doing to help the world little by little,” she said. “Younger people that have probably already achieved more than I will in my lifetime.”
The chief executive of Dr Kershaw’s Hospice congratulated Keira on her award.
“Keira is just incredible,” said Adele Doherty. “She has achieved so much at such a young age and has supported so many of our patients during the years, providing many of them with their last wishes, which is at the heart of everything that we do at the Hospice.
“We are so immensely proud of her, this award is very much well deserved, a huge congratulations to her from the whole of the Dr Kershaw’s Team!”