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Lighting up lives

413. Ted McCaffery

Young fundraiser Ted McCaffrey joined the Prime Minister to turn on the Downing Street Christmas lights.

Inspirational young people from all over the UK who have dedicated their lives to extraordinary volunteering efforts travelling to No10 Downing Street to mark the countdown to Christmas. Children who have been made Points of Light met with the Prime Minister David Cameron for festive celebrations and to watch the annual Christmas lights switch on in the street.

8 year old Ted McCaffery from Stockton Heath in Cheshire will became a Point of Light and will had his finger on the button to turn on the famous lights of the Downing Street Christmas tree. He has raised over £80,000 for Alder Hey Children’s Charity through a campaign called ‘Team Ted’.

When he was just 12 months old, he found out that he had a heart murmur and sub-aortic stenosis. In December 2012 his condition deteriorated and he needed emergency open heart surgery. He endured a six hour operation, spent nine days in hospital and was off school for three months. During this time, he came up with the idea for updating a photo a favourite teddy bear on social media using the hashtag #showusyourbear and #tedsforalderhey and texting to donate to the hospital. His ‘Team Ted’ campaign has now raised over £80,000, providing lifesaving equipment, research and arts and play activities.

Just eight weeks after he left hospital, Ted took part in a mini-triathlon and raised over £1,000 for the hospital. Three years on, Ted is still fundraising for Alder Hey and this year alone ‘Team Ted’ cycled 400km from London to Paris, took part in a half marathon, and planned a coffee morning and cake sale.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Ted is a truly inspirational young boy. He has shown incredible strength and generosity in overcoming his own health challenges and doing so much to help other young children who are treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He has raised a fantastic amount of money and will put a smile on the face of young patients this Christmas with the presents he is collecting. I am delighted that he is joining me to turn on the Downing Street Christmas Lights this year as the UK’s 413th Point of Light.”

Ted said:

“I can’t believe I’m the lucky person that gets to turn on the Christmas lights this year – it’s very exciting! Getting to meet the Prime Minister is great and so many children who are helping others. It’s been a magical day.”

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

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