Prime Minister’s award shines a light on Soham inspirational teenager Callum
- Credit: Archant
An inspirational seventeen year old school boy from Soham who has raised £150,000 in memory of his brother has been named a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Callum Fairhurst was presented with his award by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street today (Friday), and kicked off his biggest challenge to date, a round the world bike ride covering over 18,000 miles over the next eight months, from in front of the famous black door this morning. He hopes to raise a further £100,000 through the challenge.
Callum is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
Callum set up the Liam Fairhurst foundation with his parents Mark and Sarah after his brother Liam died of cancer in 2009. Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer Liam started fundraising for CLIC Sargent, the charity for children with cancer, and raised a phenomenal £380,000, inspiring a further £7m donation after his death. Inspired by Liam’s legacy Callum set up the Liam Fairhurst Foundation and began fundraising in his brother’s name.
Callum has undertaken a number of physical challenges including cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End and completing a virtual row across the English Channel, all in memory of his brother. Along the way he has secured support from celebrities eager to help his cause including Dragon’s Den Duncan Bannatyne and George Osborne. So far he has raised nearly £150,000 which has helped countless families in and around East Anglia. Callum also organised a trip to Euro Disney for twenty families, many of which have children in palliative care, to provide some magical memories and moments to treasure.
The Liam Fairhurst Foundation helps disadvantaged young people, especially those affected by cancer or disabilities. The money Callum raises helps to fund nurse care, cover travel costs and pay for holidays and final wishes. He has been previously recognized with the prestigious Gold Blue Peter badge in recognition for his outstanding fundraising efforts.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Liam Fairhurst was an inspiration to us all and Callum’s work to continue his brother’s fundraising is a very special tribute to his memory that is changing the lives of so many people. Callum himself deserves huge recognition for the courage he has shown and the service he has given to help others. I hope this Point of Light award can be a small way of saying thank you. I wish him every success with his next challenge as he starts his round the world cycle ride from Downing Street today.”
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Callum is the 287th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.
Callum said: “I’m so honoured to be recognised by the Prime Minister through the points of lights scheme, I of course feel undeserving of this accolade - especially in the presence of so many incredible Points Of Lights holders who tirelessly dedicate themselves to their communities and demonstrate human spirit at its finest.”
Callum’s MP Lucy Frazer said: “I have had the pleasure of getting to know Callum well over the past year. He is an exceptional young man who thoroughly deserves this award. He continues to campaign effectively for young people suffering illness through the charity setup in memory of his late brother, Liam. I wish him all the best for the world bike ride he is about to embark upon and would encourage anyone to support him in this ambitious endeavour.”
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.