THE PRIME Minister has recognised Ballycastle teenager Lucia Mee for raising awareness of organ donation.
Lucia is the founder of ‘Live Loudly Donate Proudly’, a campaign that raises awareness about organ donation.
Lucia received three life-saving liver transplants before the age of 17 and was just eight years old when she had her first transplant.
In 2015 Lucia teamed up with ‘Fixers’, a charity that gives young people the chance to create a media campaign, to share the story of her organ transplant and inspire others to donate.
Her aim is to create spaces where people feel comfortable having difficult conversations about death, dying and illness, so that they know the wishes of their loved ones.
The gutsy teenager has also competed in the ‘British Transplant Games’, a charity bringing together patients and transplant recipients to take part in sporting events.
Lucia has recently been selected as an #iwill Ambassador by the #iwill campaign, which seeks to make social action a part of life for all young people by 2020.
The campaign’s annual #iwillWeek, this year 12-16th November, is an opportunity for the 900 cross-sector partners of the #iwill campaign to join together to celebrate the impact young people are having on communities across the UK, and to champion the voices of young people making a difference.
Lucia is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers 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. She will be presented with her award at the #iwillWeek event held at Kew Gardens by Lord Gardiner.
In a personal letter to Lucia, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “By bravely sharing the story of your three liver transplants, you are encouraging others to talk openly about organ donation.
“You should feel very proud of how your ‘Live Loudly Donate Proudly’ campaign is helping young people to feel comfortable discussing this important issue with family and friends.”
Charlotte Hill, CEO of ‘Step Up To Serve’, which coordinates the #iwill campaign, said: “At the #iwill campaign we know that young people have the energy, ideas and drive to address issues in their community and to tackle many of society’s tougher challenges.
“We are so pleased to see the Prime Minister recognising the astounding achievements that Lucia has made through her volunteering, fundraising and campaigning, and hope this inspires Lucia and other young people to continue their fantastic work.”
Lucia said: “There are so many incredible young people who are doing amazing work and to have been recognised amongst them is very special.
“Hopefully this coverage will do even more good and will not only raise awareness of Organ Donation, mental health and our campaigning – but it will also encourage more young people to get involved in volunteering and creating social change.”
Lucia is the 1047th winner of the Points of Light award, which 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.