Edinburgh-born Olivia Strong who launched a viral running challenge and raised over £5 million for NHS charities has today received the Prime Minister’s daily Point of Light award.
Olivia created the ‘Run for Heroes 5km Challenge’ which has seen a million people run 5 kilometres, donate £5 and nominate five friends to do the same. The initiative, which Olivia initially hoped would raise £5000, went viral on Instagram with participants from over 20 countries taking part, including Sir Mo Farah, Ellie Goulding and John Terry.
In a personal letter to Olivia, the Prime Minister said:
As we persevere with the restrictions to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives, I have been inspired by the ingenuity of your Run for Heroes 5km Challenge.
Using your daily lockdown exercise to run 5K, donate £5 and nominate 5 people, you have raised more than £5 million to support the extraordinary work of our true heroes – the men and women of our unique NHS. With over a million participants from more than 20 countries, you have roused a global movement that has collectively run the entire distance to the moon and back!
Thank you for your brilliant initiative and for all that you have done to support our wonderful NHS.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Olivia said:
It’s an absolute pleasure and delight to accept this award on behalf of the whole Run For Heroes community. Not only the amazing people who have helped with the campaign (India, Alice & my family), but everyone who has continued to run, donate & nominate! It’s been so wonderful to see people coming together for such a worthwhile cause!
The Prime Minister’s UK daily Point of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Olivia is the 1363rd person to be recognised. As Britain unites to fight the spread of coronavirus, the award is focusing exclusively on people serving their community through the pandemic.