An inspirational mum from Burnley has won another top award.
Joanne Thompson was named as one of the winners of the prestigious Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards for the tireless work she and her husband, Dan, have done to raise awareness of paediatric first aid training after their nine-month-old daughter, Millie, died after choking on food at a private nursery in Cheadle Hulme in 2012.
The couple were presented with their award in a star studded ceremony on TV last night, watched by millions of viewers. Hosted by Carol Vorderman, guests included Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince Charles and dozens of celebrity guests.
Joanne, who lives in Stockport, said: “It is an absolute honour to receive this nationally recognised award and we were very proud to attend the awards.
“It is always bitter sweet to receive an award but this one really is for Millie.’’
Joanne, a former pupil of Padiham Primary and Ivy Bank High schools, set up the charity Millie’s Trust after the devastating tragedy, to raise awareness of paediatric first aid training and to fund courses for parents and carers who may not be able to afford it. Their success has been phenomenal, training thousands of people across the UK and Ireland and now both Joanne and Dan work for the charity full time.
It is always bitter sweet to receive an award but this one really is for MillieJoanne Thompson
Last year the couple launched a petition calling on the government to take action over paediatric first aid training and in March ministers proposed a change in the law to ensure new nursery and pre-school staff will be legally required to undertake a paediatric first aid qualification for the first time. This will be the first step towards “Millie’s Law’’ where all nursery staff are eventually trained in first aid.
The couple also succeeded in changing the law to get paediatric first aid kits in every ambulance.
Joanne said: “The ambulance that went to Millie had no paediatric first aid kit. There is now a 43 piece kit that has to be carried on every ambulance because of Millie.’’
Last year Joanne was named as Lorraine Kelly’s Inspirational Woman of the Year and in July she and Dan, who welcomed their baby son Leo into the world in February, received a St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes award in recognition of their efforts.
Next year will see the introductionof Millie’s Mark, a logo showing that all staff at a nursery have been trained in paediatric first aid.
Joanne said: “It will be an amazing moment. We have gone a lot further than we ever thought we would.’’