1331. Ali Waterworth
Ali Waterworth, from Huddersfield, was inspired to set up her charity ‘Ruddi’s Retreat’ following two years of intensive cancer treatment for her son Ruddi.
During Ruddi’s treatment, the family were given the opportunity by ‘Candlelighters Charity’ to spend a week for free on a caravan holiday park, providing quality time together. Ali realised that respite breaks are just as crucial for families after a child enters remission and finishes treatment, and was inspired to establish a charity that could provide holidays for families throughout the entire recovery period. The charity has since expanded to offer free respite holidays by the Yorkshire seaside not only for families affected by cancer, but also by life-limiting illness, bereavement or dementia.
In a personal letter to Ali, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are drawing on your experience of Ruddi’s treatment to offer invaluable respite and support to other families in some of their most difficult moments.”
Jason McCartney, Ali’s local MP for Colne Valley, said:
“I’m delighted to see that the brilliant, selfless and invaluable work of Ali has been recognised by the Prime Minister in this way. Only those who are deemed an outstanding individual volunteer can receive a Points of Light Award and Ali is most definitely one of these incredible individuals. Through ‘Ruddi’s Retreat’, Ali, who herself had to raise a family whilst her son was suffering from cancer, has created a vitally important outlet for families who are going through challenging times to enjoy a much needed break and spend valuable time together. I send my most sincere congratulations to her and I hope ‘Ruddi’s Retreat’ continues to go from strength to strength.”
“It means a lot to me that I can help create happy memories for families going through the hardest of times, I have been there. So to then have received recognition like this for the work that I do is just lovely and for it to happen in the year that my darling boy and inspiration is celebrating his 10th anniversary just makes it even more special. Thank you so much, smaller charities do some amazing work and often do go under the radar, so for me and my charity to receive this award just goes to show that some of the most important people in the world do appreciate what we do, just as much as the families that receive the holidays.”