1023. Anna-Louise Bates
Anna-Louise Bates, from Cardiff, is the founder of 'Believe', a charity set up in honour of her husband and son to support and promote organ donation in Wales and beyond.
Anna’s husband Stuart and seven year old son Fraser were killed in a car crash in 2015 and the organs of her son, who they nicknamed ‘Fraser Bear’, went on to save the lives of four people. Through ‘Believe’, Anna-Louise aims to break down the taboo around organ donation and to get people talking about the wishes of their loved ones. This year Anna-Louise launched an animation video to be shown in schools featuring the charity’s teddy bear mascot ‘Fraser Bear’ discussing the importance of organ donation. The video has already been viewed over 8 million times and over 700 cuddly toy bears have been distributed to people across the country including the Duke of Cambridge. She has also spoken regularly to students and teachers about understanding organ donation and incorporating it into the curriculum. In 2016 she was named Fundraiser of the Year by the Pride of Britain awards.
Anna was presented with her award by her local MP, Anna McMorrin:
In a personal letter to Anna-Louise, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By creating ‘Believe’ you have responded to a personal tragedy with tremendous strength and resolve. You should feel incredibly proud of your work in honour of Stuart and Fraser, raising awareness of organ donation and supporting other families who are affected by this vital issue.”
“It was such an honour to receive the phone call to say that I was to be given a Points of Light award.
“The charity ‘Believe’ was founded by me to assist in education and support organ donation throughout Wales, England and beyond, following the passing of my late husband and my son in December 2015. It was through belief that I donated my son’s organs who went on to save at least four lives. ‘Believe’ was founded with the intention to try and do as much good as possible; to try and educate and help spread the word on organ donation and support those people involved.
“To know, therefore, that the Prime Minister believes in me and recognises our work is truly humbling. By seeing the light in others helped me through the dark times and therefore being a Point of Light I hope I can encourage people to volunteer and believe in themselves.”
Watch to find out more about how Anna-Louise set up ‘Believe’: