Daredevil fundraiser Ivan is Prime Minister's Point of Light
A man whose fundraising efforts for his local children's heart unit saw him ski down a mountain in nothing but a mankini is the latest winner of a new volunteering award, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.
As the father of a baby with a heart condition Ivan Hollingsworth was inspired to payback the hospital that saved his son's life by completing a series of bizarre stunts to raise as much money for the unit as physically possible.
Ivan is the recipient of a new 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.
The new award has been developed by Prime Minister David Cameron in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA, which has recognised over 5,000 people. The US programme was established by President George H. W. Bush, and both he and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.
Whether it's a plumber regenerating local parkland or a teenager setting up a new cancer campaign, a Scout leader turning round the lives of hundreds of young people or a mum engaging the community to care for its neighbours, the Point of Light award will honour shining examples of volunteering across Britain.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"Ivan is an extraordinary fundraiser, capturing the imagination with challenges that many others would not even dare to attempt. He has a done a fantastic job raising money and awareness - and helping to lessen the suffering of sick children. I am delighted to recognise Ivan's service by making him a Point of Light."
"Every day when I look into my beautiful son's eyes, I am reminded of what the wonderful team at the Freeman Hospital did for our family. Raising money and awareness for CHUF is our way of thanking those who saved Seb's life and hopefully it will help other children like him. This award is a huge honour and I dedicate it to the surgeons, doctors, nurses and every individual who has helped us in our fundraising for CHUF."
Alan Campbell MP for Tynemouth said:
"Ivan has been a tireless campaigner for the future of the Children's Heart Unit, which I know is an issue he cares deeply about, as do very many of my constituents. Ivan and Nadine have gone beyond raising money, important though that is, to raising the profile and importance of the unit. He has given so much of his time and effort and it is fantastic that he is being given this recognition. I warmly congratulate Ivan on winning this award."
Find out more about the day in these press releases:
- News Guardian 29th May 2014
- Chronicle 24th May 2014
- Journal 24th May 2014
- Chronicle 23rd May 2014
- Journal 23rd May 2014