2110. Steve Watts
Steve Watts MBE, from Cumbria, is a fell runner and former member of the Grenadier Guards who has raised over £3 million for charity over the past 30 years through running challenges.
Steve completed his first running fundraiser in 1985, and has since completed a wide range of challenges, including scaling Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp. Just before the pandemic hit in 2020 Steve and his wife moved to the Lake District and, to bring the beauty of his surroundings to others, he shared daily photographs of his mountain runs on social media. He used his photographs to publish a book, with all proceeds from the sales going towards fellow Point of Light, Tony Hudgell and his foundation, and the Evelina Children’s Hospital, which treated Tony.
On this day, Steve is completing a new challenge, ‘Summits Up for Tony’, which will see him climb Orrest Head in the Lake District with Tony Hudgell to raise money for the Tony Hudgell Foundation. They will also be joined by two other Points of Light, Sally Orange MBE and Hari Budha Magar.
In a personal letter to Steve, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I was delighted to hear about your latest fundraising challenge, together with Hari and Sally, climbing Orrest Head with Tony in support of his foundation. Over the last thirty years, you have raised an incredible £3 million for charity, and it could not be more fitting to recognise your own extraordinary service to this country in the same way.”
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Rt Hon. Johnny Mercer MP, said:
“Our third sector partners do so much in helping us deliver a step-change in support for veterans and their families, and fundraising is crucial to enable them to continue their amazing work.
“I am so pleased to see Steve Watts MBE honoured with a Points of Light award today to recognise his ongoing hard work fundraising over £3 million for charity over the past 30 years.”
See more about ‘The Tony Hudgell Foundation ’