Hope 4 Kidz
2126. Viv Watts
Viv Watts, from Sunderland, has provided financial support and access to leisure activities and day trips for over 86,000 disadvantaged and disabled children in the North East through her charity ‘Hope 4 Kidz’.
Viv founded the charity in 2007 to improve the wellbeing of young people affected by long-term illness, physical or mental disabilities, poverty or abuse, and aims to give the best means of support required for each individual circumstance. The charity is supported by a team of 25 volunteers and not only helps to provide financial support to families but also offers workshops and family fun sessions and days, which can include baby massage, cookery lessons, dance, yoga and a range of other activities, often attracting up to 400 families for each event. Viv also supports and fundraises for disability football teams to provide kit and equipment.
In addition, Viv runs seasonal appeals, distributing thousands of Christmas gifts and Easter eggs to hospitals, refuges, hospices and children services. She has also fundraised for hospital equipment and medical research, including raising over £125,000 in an appeal to support a child diagnosed with Duchenne.
Congratulating Viv on her award, Julie Elliott, Viv’s local MP for Sunderland Central said:
“I am delighted that Viv has been recognised with this award.
“She has made a significant contribution to enriching the lives of thousands of children and families and thoroughly deserves this recognition for her tireless commitment to the children of the North East.”
“It is an absolute delight and a total surprise to have been recognised by the Prime Minister in this way and something which I am extremely grateful for.
“As someone who has worked with a small, local charity for a number of years you just get on with the job and try to make a difference in your community.
“This is a real treasure and something I will absolutely treasure.”
See more about ‘Hope 4 Kidz’