1796. Keira Arnold
Keira Arnold, aged 13, from Oldham, created ‘Keira’s Wishes’ to fund activities and gifts for local hospice residents in memory of her father, who spent his final months at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, in Royton.
Keira’s father Stephen passed away at the age of 28 after suffering with stomach cancer. Following his death, Keira’s sole aim has been to provide special memories for other patients and their families at the hospice, raising over £36,000 to purchase smart TVs for patients, fund final day trips and even a wedding reception for a terminally ill patient. She has also organised activities such as virtual markets to support businesses and the hospice during the pandemic.
In a personal letter to Keira, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am lost in admiration for all you have done as an ambassador for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice. Through ‘Keira’s Wishes’, you have given families the chance to make special memories with their loved ones.
“You have responded to the tragedy of losing a parent in such a positive way, and your fundraising is a wonderful tribute to your father, Stephen.”
“I was really surprised and very honoured to have received this award. I really enjoy fundraising especially knowing it helps other families through very difficult and sad times, which is what inspires me to keep going and others to support me and together we’re hoping that ‘Keira’s Wishes’ total will reach £41,000 by Christmas Day.”
Joanne Sloan, Chief Executive of Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, said:
“What word, other than AMAZING, could describe Keira and her campaign to fund patients’ last wishes? It is a privilege to have watched this wonderful young lady grow in stature and confidence, inspiring all around her to do something special for ‘Keira’s Wishes’. From her first fundraising appeal collecting postcards to her continuous efforts online during COVID-19, everything Keira puts her mind to do is for the benefit of the patients in our care. Providing the simple pleasures of a new pair of pyjamas for a homeless cancer patient or paying for a trip to Manchester United for a father and his young family, every penny Keira raises makes special forever memories for families that we support. This award is well deserved and we are so very proud of Keira and everything she has and will continue to achieve.”