Merseyside mum recognised with British Citizen Award

Claire Cathcart from St Helens, Merseyside is one of only 25 individuals to have been recognised at the Palace of Westminster with the prestigious British Citizen Award (BCA) in recognition of their extraordinary endeavours.

The British Citizen Award in partnership with One Stop, is now in its eighth year and recognises exceptional individuals who positively impact their communities, charities, and individual causes.

Claire received the BCA Medal of Honour at the Palace of Westminster, receiving The British Citizen Award for Services to Volunteering & Charitable Giving.  As a legacy of her achievements, Claire is invited to use the post-nominals, BCAv.

She has created a network to help families of children with Congenital heart conditions face their trauma with the help and support they need, by creating Team 1c. The ethos of Team 1c is to pay it forward and help children and families in the North West and in the developing world. Newly diagnosed families are pointed in the direction of Team 1c by their hospital as a warm, welcoming and safe place.

Claire’s son Jake was born in 2015 with a rare, unexpected heart condition, so Claire’s experience of motherhood has been having a sick child and spending her time in hospitals, having to learn how to be a mother and a carer at the same time. Given the hand that Claire had been dealt she could have easily focused only on her son and their own journey, but she chose to channel her energy into helping others.

From the early days when Jake was a newborn, Claire made many friends in hospital and decided that a support network was very much needed for parents and carers of children with Heart conditions. When Claire at was at her son’s CICU bedside in London, 200 miles away from home in the middle of the pandemic, Jake received a heart transplant and she raised over £5,000 for Alder Hey children’s Hospital and the Sick Children’s Trust. As an individual and as part of Team 1c, Claire has raised over £100,000 for charity. From running 10k in the dark, heavily pregnant, to organising Gala evenings, whilst caring for a child with complex health needs.

The money Claire has raised has funded heart surgeries for over 163 children in the developing world, giving them a chance at life. Closer to home, Claire has raised money for parent accommodation and hospital equipment.   Her ultimate aim for Team 1c is to support cardiac children as they become adults, assisting with finances, jobs, qualifications as well as their health.

Claire, who is a member of the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science Community Engagement Team, was presented with her Medal by CEO of Sponsors Objective HR, Lisa Collins.

Lisa said: “Claire’s actions to set up a support network for parents and carers of children with Heart conditions, and the amount of funds she has raised whilst also caring for a sick child is amazing.  Her vision for Team 1c is inspirational and her determination commendable.  Her achievements are immeasurable and will have undoubtedly helped so many parents. Claire deserves this medal and recognition for her achievements.”

The Medal presentation was hosted by TV and Radio presenter Naga Munchetty, and attended by BCA Patron The Rt Hon, Lord Dholakia. The British Citizen Award was established in 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on their communities and society. The BCA recognises true community heroes who would otherwise likely be overlooked.

Dubbed ‘The People’s Honours’, each medalist had a day to remember befitting their achievements. At the Palace of Westminster medals were presented by Senior Representatives from official partner One Stop, Places for People, Specsavers, Objective HR, and Big Bus London, who all support this unique programme. Following this, medalists were treated to an Open Top Lap of Honour tour taking in some of the Capital’s iconic landmarks, before going on to a post-event drinks reception and Certificate Presentation at Church House, Westminster.

The British Citizen Award is widely viewed as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary, everyday people for exceptional endeavour and are truly representative of today’s multicultural Britain.