508. Ellie Targett
A former BBC Hereford and Worcester radio host has helped thousands of children around the world deal with traumatic experiences through her charity.
Ellie Targett, 63, from Herefordshire, was inspired to set up The Teddy Trust when a friend of hers, Point of Light winner Judy Westwater, showed her photos of some of the children she had worked with in South Africa.
Ellie decided to send a teddy bear to one particular girl, who had been so badly abused that she couldn’t walk or talk. Inspired by the impact that one simple teddy bear could have, she then decided to send bears to as many children as she could to help them deal with stressful and traumatic incidents in their lives.
The Trust now collects donations of teddies from across the UK and sends them to comfort children all over the world. To date, Ellie has sent 25,000 bears to Syria, Turkey, Malawi, Kenya and South Africa. The Trust has huge support particularly from KMB Shipping as well as Santander, Boots and Morrisons and Ellie works with businesses including DHL to deliver the teddies and with charities on the ground to distribute them.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“The Teddy Trust is a brilliant initiative, offering children all over the world a little comfort when they need it most. Already Ellie has sent 25,000 bears to children who have lost everything through conflict or trauma. She is a point of light in their lives and an inspiration to us all.”
“It is such a huge honour for me and the Teddy Trust to receive this award. Thousands of children across the UK have donated their teddies for suffering children around the world particularly in Syria and this award will make a huge difference to the work we do. I’m still on cloud nine about it. I have a small but powerful and enthusiastic team behind me and this gives us enormous encouragement for the year ahead. Thank you so very much – I feel very honoured.”
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now