Pride of Britain Award presented to Harpenden amputee campaigner
- Credit: Archant
An inspirational child amputee campaigner has won a prestigious Pride of Britain Award 2017.
Harpenden resident Sarah Hope, her mother Elizabeth, and her two-year-old daughter Pollyanna were hit when a London bus mounted the pavement at Mortlake station in 2007.
The crash seriously injured Sarah, killed Elizabeth, and left toddler Pollyanna without a leg below the knee.
Since then Sarah has been fighting for child amputee victims - she set up the charity Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope and opened a confidential support service for people involved in London accidents called The Sarah Hope Line.
Now Sarah has won the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Special Recognition award for successfully lobbying for Government funding to make running blades available for more child amputee victims.
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As a result, an extra £1.5million was given to the NHS for new sports prosthetics last year.
She said: “It’s been totally amazing. The whole experience of meeting the other winners has been really uplifting because they do phenomenal things, they have been through real experiences - and for me to be on the same pedestal as them is amazing.
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“The awards ceremony was unbelievable because it was really fun - you name a celebrity and they were there.”
The running blades campaign started for Sarah in 2012, when Pollyanna was inspired by London’s Paralympic Games but unable to get the £5,000 blades on the NHS.
At the time, only fixed prosthetics for walking were supplied.
Sarah said: “Pollyanna’s leg was stiff, it was a fixed leg with no movement, it was heavy and it was hard for her to be active.
“Pollyanna doesn’t want to be a sports person, she just wanted to dance and run.
“I got a bit cross because the Government pay millions of pounds to research and develop these blades, but what’s the point of paying millions if you aren’t going to give them to people who need them? And they were banging on about the Paralypmic legacy but without the blades there wasn’t a legacy.”
She said the blades were life changing for Pollyanna: “Her life transformed, she can run, she can dance, she can have the life she deserves that other children have. She can do more than just walk.”
For her 10 years of unfaltering charity work, Sarah has also won the Point of Light in 2015 and the Herts Ad Community Awards Parent in a Million accolade in 2016.