A Leyland teenager has been recognised by the Prime Minister for her fundraising with Meningitis Research Foundation.
Sofia Crockatt, 13, raised tens of thousands of pounds for the charity that supported her and her family after she contracted meningococcal septicaemia at the age of two and subsequently had to have her left leg amputated.
Since her operation, she has raised more than £40,000 for the Foundation and was honoured to become its first ever Junior Ambassador at the age of nine.
She is dedicated to raising awareness of the disease, regularly appearing in newspapers and national television, to talk about her experiences.
Sofia is a keen blade runner, inspired by the Paralympians she has been lucky enough to meet, and has taken part in numerous fundraising events, including the Junior Great North and Great Manchester Run.
Most recently Sofia led a team of people in the Superhero Series - an event aimed at encouraging those with disabilities to get into sport, organised by fellow Point of Light, Paralympian Sophia Warner.
Aired on Channel 4, Sofia completed the full triathlon alongside friends who have been similarly affected by meningitis, and celebrity teammates, Carly Tait, a TeamGB Wheelchair Racer, and Jaryd Wallace, a US Paralympic sprinter.
Sofia received her award from Prime Minister Theresa May at a reception marking the switching on of the Downing Street Christmas lights, which was also attended
by fellow Points of Light winners aged between six and 16 or whose voluntary work is centred around supporting young people.
Sofia 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.
In a personal letter to Sofia, the Prime Minister said: “Your remarkable fundraising in aid of the Meningitis Research Foundation is not only offering vital support for patients and researchers but also sending a positive message about the importance of para-athletics to thousands of young people.
“I wish you every success building on your work as an ambassador at Superhero Series and in your future sporting efforts.”
Vinny Smith, chief executive of Meningitis Research Foundation, said: “Sofia is a total superstar and this award from the Prime Minister is incredibly
well deserved. Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can leave some survivors with life altering after effects and Sofia has shown enormous bravery in her recovery and as she’s grown up. We can’t thank her enough for her dedication to raising funds and awareness for the charity. It’s fantastic that her efforts are now being recognised in this way.”
Sofia is the 847th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. More than 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.