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Cards for Bravery

2267. Katie Callaghan

Katie Callaghan, from Hertfordshire, has delivered over 25,000 handmade cards to children in hospital, hospices or being cared for at home through her initiative ‘Cards for Bravery’.

Having spent a large amount of her childhood in hospital, Katie set up the initiative in 2015 at age 13, having received a handmade card from a friend that boosted her  wellbeing. Katie started making homemade cards for other sick children in the hospital to lift their spirits and help alleviate feelings of isolation and anxiety, hosting regular card making events, with over 100 volunteers helping to make cards. Anyone can nominate a child to receive a card, and Katie works with hospitals and hospices across the UK to distribute them, and in 2021, the English Stamp Company released a line of stamps inspired by ‘Cards for Bravery’.

Katie’s initiative has held Christmas card campaigns, provided activity packs for children undergoing longer stays in hospital and bravery packages, tailored to children who are living with long term conditions. 

In a personal letter to Katie, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I was moved to hear about how much of your childhood was spent in hospital due to chronic illnesses. During that period, I understand that receiving a handmade card from a friend gave you a huge lift — and a great idea.

“Despite being just 13 at the time, you set about making cards for other sick children in hospital, hospices or in care. For thousands of children, your kindness has shown them they are not alone and given them a burst of hope and courage when they needed it most.”

Katie said:

“I feel truly blessed to receive the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister! It is an honour to have my voluntary work with ‘Cards for Bravery’ recognised by those in the high levels of the government. Since starting the charity at a young age, all I have ever wanted to do is help make a difference to those in similar situations as mine; being hospitalised and living with long-term health conditions. I would also like to thank our trustees and volunteers; as without them our work wouldn’t be possible! Winning this award will hopefully raise awareness of what we do and help us continue to brighten the days of those going through some of the most difficult times, so thank you again!”

Find out more about ‘Cards for Bravery

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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