Simon Tarplee and Wendy Tarplee Morris, co-founders of the Little Princess Trust, have received the Point of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May.
This award recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making positive changes in their communities. Wendy and Simon will be the 850th and 851st Points of Light. Essentially this is a way of the Prime Minister saying ‘thank you’ for their outstanding voluntary service.
Simon and Wendy received their awards at the No. 10 Downing Street Children’s Christmas party reception, where they were also joined by members of their own families.
In a personal letter to Simon, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You should be very proud of inspiring thousands of people to donate their hair to this exceptional cause as well as the impact the Trust’s fundraising is having on research into child cancers.”
In a personal letter to Wendy, the Prime Minister wrote:
“Your work helping source and create real hair wigs has transformed the young lives of child cancer patients, allowing them to look and feel more like themselves at an incredibly difficult time of their lives.”
When asked how he felt to receive the award, Simon said: “I was so shocked to hear that Wendy and I were to receive the award which I am very proud to accept. The ‘Little Princess Trust’ is of course something very important to me. The thousands of children the charity has helped is a huge legacy to our daughter Hannah in whose name the charity was set up.”
Wendy added: “It came as a complete shock and I feel incredibly humbled to have been selected. I feel that it adds even further to our daughter’s legacy and I know that she would be very proud of the work that has been done in her memory.”
Despite having to dig her way out of a snow-struck Hereford, Wendy said that the trip to Downing Street was a brilliant experience and that it was very special to receive such recognition, despite that not ever being Simon or Wendy’s motivation to start the charity.
Wendy added “It was also lovely that both of our families got to be a part of the experience and the children had a fabulous time at the party. They even had a Santa’s grotto for the children to visit and other characters like Paddington and Dennis the Menace. It was a little surreal to even be stood at the front door, let alone to go inside! They literally opened up all of the main rooms in number 10, including the famous ‘White Room’ and hall of fame staircase. We all had a fabulous day that we will always remember.”
The Points of Light award has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
You can read more about this story on the Points of Light website: