Dreams Come True

A cup of tea with....Lucy Watts on her MBE

I’ve been involved now with Dreams Come True since October 2014. I applied for a wish, and after a few ideas were ruled out, it was agreed my mum, sister and I would see Ed Sheeran live. Sadly, that was not meant to be, due to my mum’s brain tumour diagnosis and surgery complications that have forever changed our lives. However, in the nick of time - two days before my mum’s surgery - we went to see Paul O’Grady live from the studio, and we got to meet the man himself, and Danny Dyer, who was on the show that day. Paul was wonderful, the exact person you see on telly is the man he is. A huge heart, who asked me little about my condition, more about our mutual love of dogs and of my assistance dog in training, Molly. It was definitely a highlight, and a wonderful memory to look back on. That was the last thing mum and I would do together before our lives were forever changed.

As well as being an Ambassador for Dreams Come True, I work closely with other charities, including Together for Short Lives as an Ambassador and Young Avenger as part of their Transition Taskforce, the first Global Youth Ambassador for the International Children’s Palliative Care Network and Trustee of the Pseudo Obstruction Research Trust, amongst others. I have done many things and achieved a lot over the last few years, speaking in Parliament, speaking and even co-chairing an event at the Department of Health, TV and radio work, including appearing in a BBC 3 documentary out this month, writing many pieces including blogs and booklet forewords, being filmed to be shown at conferences, working with so many wonderful charities and causes, meeting some amazing people and making many strong connections, but also many friends. I have been privileged with the opportunities I have, to be entrusted to represent charities at high-profile events and important meetings and it is an honour to be a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves, or do not have the opportunities that I do to speak up and be heard by the people who need to hear our voice: professionals, policy-makers, commissioners, Department of Health officials, Government advisors, MPs and more, but also the general public.

All my work culminated in an enormous honour that was announced on the 30th December 2015. I was appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Years Honours 2016, for my services to Young People with Disabilities. To receive such an honour at only 22, to be recognised for my work by such a prestigious award, and for the level of support and congratulations I received since it was announced has been overwhelming. Words seem to fail me when I try to embody the magnitude of receiving such an award, especially so young. I am so very grateful to everyone who has supported me, to my charities for not only giving me so many opportunities, but for giving my life meaning and purpose and supporting me through the many ups and downs of my condition as it deteriorates, some times more rapid than others, but also through the horrendous year I have had since mum’s diagnosis. I would not be receiving an MBE if it weren’t for every person who has supported me, who has picked me up and kept me going, who has extended the hand of friendship, and to the people and charities who have given me the opportunities; thank you will never be adequate to describe my gratitude towards you all, there are no words that will describe it. Finally, thank you to whoever nominated me for this accolade, for which I am truly humbled. I look forward to my investiture. 

Hannah Attenburrow
Date: 03/02/2016
Author: Hannah Attenburrow
Source: Dreams Come True


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