Founders of Welwyn Hatfield-based charity recognised by Prime Minister with award
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 December 2018
2018 The Arsenal Football Club Plc
The founders of Welwyn Hatfield-based charity Willow have been formally recognised by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Bob and Megs Wilson were presented with a Points of Light award for their exceptional service establishing national charity, Willow, as part of the Arsenal FC charity matchday at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, December 8.
Points of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others, with the Prime Minister announcing winners daily.
Mr and Mrs Wilson founded the charity in memory of their daughter Anna, who died of cancer aged 31.
They were “delighted and humbled” to be Points of Light recipients.
“We would like to accept (the award) on behalf of all those who have helped us continue the legacy of our daughter Anna, in being able to bring quality of life and quality of time to those 16 to 40 year olds whose lives are challenged by serious illness,” he said.
Willow is the only national charity providing Special Days for young adults living with life-threatening conditions and has created 15,500 lasting memories since its founding in 1999.
Mr Wilson, a former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter, and his wife have partnered with The Arsenal Foundation since 2013, which will see more than £300,000 donated to Willow by the end of this season.
Former England and Arsenal footballer and Willow Ambassador, David Seaman, presented the awards to Mr and Mrs Wilson, who also received a personal letter from Ms May.
An excerpt of the letter reads: “Over many years, you have worked tirelessly to create a wonderful legacy to your daughter, Anna.
“By founding the Willow Foundation and replicating the Special Days that Anna loved so much, you are providing uplifting and unforgettable memories for thousands of people living with life-threatening conditions.”
On the Arsenal FC charity matchday, the manager and first team squad donate a day of their wages to Arsenal Foundation charities including Willow.