| 11.6°C Belfast

Champion NI fundraiser Maureen (95) gives PM Boris Johnson the elbow

Close

Maureen Lightbody with Boris Johnson ahead of receiving her award

Maureen Lightbody with Boris Johnson ahead of receiving her award

Maureen Lightbody with Boris Johnson ahead of receiving her award

A 95-year-old Second World War veteran who walked 95 miles to raise over £20,000 for charity has been congratulated by the Prime Minister.

Maureen Lightbody fundraised for Macmillan Cancer Support during the coronavirus pandemic.

She met Boris Johnson at Hillsborough Castle yesterday, ahead of receiving her Points of Light award today.

The Points of Light awards were launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. One is issued every day, and Maureen is the 1,452nd person recognised.

Maureen, from Groomsport, served with the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) during the Second World War, and aged 18 worked as a signaller for American ships dispatched from Belfast Lough to Normandy.

Inspired by the example of Captain Sir Tom Moore, she embarked upon her '95 by 95 challenge', walking 95 Roman miles by her 95th birthday in July for Macmillan Cancer Support.

She supported the charity in memory of her late husband George, who died from cancer in 1987.

In a letter to Maureen, Mr Johnson said: "I am lost in admiration for your endurance and determination in walking 95 miles by your 95th birthday for the benefit of Macmillan Cancer Support, inspired by your fellow veteran, Captain Sir Tom Moore.

"You should be incredibly proud of raising over £20,000, in memory of your late husband."

Maureen said: "I was absolutely amazed when told about this award, it feels like everyone is talking about someone else.

"I loved this challenge, it gave me a real sense of purpose and structure during lockdown, and felt good to be doing something positive at 95 years of age and supporting such a worthwhile charity as Macmillan Cancer Support."

She added: "Everyone has been so supportive and generous and not just family and friends but also people I have never met."

Belfast Telegraph