Olivia Alice Foundation
957. Aidan Jackson
Aidan Jackson, from Cheshire, is a 15 year old fundraiser whose creative stunts provide more than half the annual income for a children’s charity set up in memory of his best friend.
Aidan, who has Asperger’s, became close friends with Olivia, who had a number of complex health problems, after meeting her at a swimming club. After she passed away in February 2014, her mum set up the ‘Olivia Alice Foundation’ to provide specialist medical equipment to children and Aiden began fundraising to support it. Aiden has swam the length of the English Channel to raise funds and created a teddy bear challenge asking supporters to pay a £1 to sponsor a bear and filling all 10,500 seats in the local rugby team’s stadium with teddy bears, Olivia’s favourite toys.
In a personal letter to Aidan, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The fundraising you do in memory of your close friend Olivia is providing valuable support for children with complex health needs. You should feel very proud of organising so many creative activities to raise money and awareness for ‘The Olivia Alice Foundation.”
“I am honoured to receive this Points of Light Award. My hope is that other young people will see that they too can make a positive difference in their communities. Thank you for the recognition but I would like to thank everybody who has supported my fundraising challenges, making them such a success, and also to those who inspired me to take on different challenges to help make a difference to others especially Olivia Alice Walker (who sadly passed away in 2014 aged just 15 years) and Andrew Rogerson (AKA The Cycling Scouser) as without them none of this would have been possible. Always remember that you can achieve anything if you try hard enough.”