Lillie’s sacrifice is rewarded

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A 25 year-old woman who became the mum to her five younger siblings following the death in 2016 of their mother was named the Winner of Winners at the Luton &Bedfordshire Community Awards.

Lillie Jackson, whose father died eight years before in 2010, also won the Parent in a Million accolade at the ceremony.

She so impressed the award’s judges and sponsors that they also gave her £1,000 to help her with her plans to go to university and study social work.

The person who nominated Lillie said: “Lillie deserves this award, at the age of 25 she has sacrificed her life in order for her siblings to stay together and be cared for.

“She is doing a fantastic job.”

Remarkably, Lillie ensured her siblings went to school, supporting her brother in returning to college, and finished her own college course with little support.

Another young person, Joshua Finch, aged six, won the Outstanding Bravery title for battling leukaemia since the age of four.

And Jack Marshall, who has been battling a heart rhythm problem since the age of two, won the title of Young Hero.

The awards ceremony at Venue Central 2 in Leagrave Road, with headline sponsor Pictons, was a showcase of amazing giving.

As part of the award’s charity fundraising, Luton Food Bank received a cheque for £25,000 to purchase and run a new van.

The full list of winners is: (Where two names are given, the award was shared).

Concern/Improving Lives Award – Sponsored by Luton Community Lettings - Young @ Heart Dementia Café

Young Hero Sponsored by Luton Sixth Form College -Jack Marshall

Charity of the Year Sponsored by Pictons - Bangladesh Youth League

Service with a Smile Sponsored by Specialist Cars - PCSO Daniel McHugh, and Konan Quasimo

Role Model of the Year Sponsored by Safer Luton Partnership &Barnfield College - Usman Ahmed, and Bharulata Kamble

Community Business of the Year Sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses & Marsh Farm Futures, - Heywood House

Community Project of the Year Sponsored by Army Luton Mela, - Fashion Show Live Academy

Exceptional Achievement Sponsored by the University of Bedfordshire - Jasmin Khanom

Community Arts Award Sponsored by Luton Culture and Masterchef - Luton Council Of Faiths

The Mark West Award Sponsored by Bedfordshire Luton Community Foundation - Near Neighbours (Luton Hub)

Helping Hand Award Sponsored by The Mall Luton - Maureen Allen

Lifetime Achievement Sponsored by Thurlow Nunn - Sister Marie Hayes, Ted Reid

Healthcare Hero Sponsored by Bartham Group and Venue Central - Farida Parkar

Social Care Hero Sponsored by Active Support Education Centre, - Claire Jackson

Sporting Achievement sponsored by Active Luton and Utilita - Lianne Crisp, and Jordan Reynolds

Volunteer of the Year Sponsored by Human Appeal - Dave Townley

Teacher of the Year Sponsored by A Plan Insurance - Mohammed Parmar, and Jamie Kelly

Parent in a Million Sponsored by Chiltern Learning Trust &Chiltern Training Group - Lillie Jackson

Outstanding Bravery Sponsored by Bedfordshire Police &Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue - Joshua Finch

Mayor’s Award - Martin Maloney

Winner of Winners sponsored by Pictons Solicitors - Lillie Jackson