Charity award in Luke’s memory

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A MOTHER who lost her son after a premature birth has won a national award for her fundraising efforts.

Catherine Allcott, from Daventry Road in Norton, has been named volunteer of the year for 2010 by special care baby charity Bliss.

She began fundraising in 2006 after her twins, Grace and Luke, were born prematurely at Northampton General Hospital.

Grace survived but Luke died three-and-a-half months later.

Mrs Allcott, 43, has since raised £11,000 for the charity which aims to improve the survival and quality of life for babies born too soon, too small or too sick to cope on their own.

She said: “When Luke died we set up a fund through Bliss in his memory and also in celebration of Grace. The first time I came across the charity was when I was in labour.

“They handed me some information and it was like my Bible, it told me everything I needed to know.

“It really helped me through and the charity does so much good work for families like us across the country.”

Since starting her fundraising effort Mrs Allcott, who has another one-year-old son, Matthew, has set up a host of charity events. And her efforts were recognised at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday last week.

She added: “I was nominated by the staff at Bliss which surprised me a great deal. We went for afternoon tea at the Hilton Hotel and that’s when I received my award, it was fantastic.

“I’m delighted to receive it in memory of my son, Luke, and in celebration of my daughter, Grace.

“I was absolutely thrilled to pick up the award and we are planning to keep on going with the fundraising effort.

“We’ve done things like a sponsored pram-push around Daventry Country Park, musical events, cake sales and all manner of things.”

Mrs Alcott is also keen to thank two people in particular who have helped her with the fundraising effort.

She said: “I want to say a big thank you to my husband, Nigel. Without his support I couldn’t have done any of the work I’ve done for the charity.”

“And I would also like to thank Chris Heaton-Harris MP for his support which has been wonderful since he was elected.”