1822. Candice Konig
Candice Konig, from Sussex, leads 'Forward Facing', a charity that organises activities and events for families suffering long-term illness and bereavement across Sussex.
The charity was originally founded in 2008 by Candice’s best friend, Tasleen Carstairs, who passed away in 2014. Since then, Candice has been dedicated to leading the charity in Tasleen’s memory and seeking to bring positivity and fun to families of children facing long-term illness and life-limiting conditions. Candice in particular recognises the exhausting effect this can have on all family members, running events specifically aimed at mothers, fathers, carers and siblings. The charity also provides support for children suffering from bereavement or hardship, or children who have an ongoing hidden condition such as diabetes, and during the COVID-19 pandemic provided bespoke help to families throughout lockdown, including practical support, donations and “date” nights for exhausted parents with takeaways and flowers.
In a personal letter to Candice, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“By organising family days out and special events for children with serious and life-limiting illnesses, you are creating important memories. I was particularly inspired to learn of the care you give to parents, carers and siblings too. Giving them respite breaks and emotional support will enable them to look after their loved ones all the better.
“Continuing the work that your friend, Tasleen, started years ago is a wonderful tribute to her memory.”
“Myself and the ‘Forward Facing’ team are absolutely delighted to be recognised for the work we do by the Prime Minister and we feel very honoured to accept this award. We do events to make memories for children living with cancer, long-term or life-limiting illnesses and bereaved families in the south. In 2014 I made a promise to my best friend who was the founder of the charity that ‘Forward Facing’ would carry on after she passed away from an aggressive form of cancer. We have continued to make memories throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing happiness and smiles to our families as, unfortunately, cancer and illness doesn’t wait for the pandemic to end, so we have continued to make memories that last forever as unfortunately some of our families don’t know what the future holds. Thank you for this very special award.”