A footballer responsible for a government U-turn on free meals and a 100-year-old veteran who raised £33m for the NHS were among this year’s Pride of Britain winners.
Marcus Rashford, 23, received special recognition for his campaign to ensure children in need remain fed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Boris Johnson bowed to pressure to extend free school meals through the summer holidays as a result of the Manchester United star’s initiative, while a similar effort to have the support extended over other school breaks gained more than one million signatures.
Special recognition also went to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who was knighted after his mission to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday raised millions of pounds for healthcare workers fighting the pandemic.
Sir Tom was announced as the first 2020 Pride of Britain winner in April.
The very people Sir Tom fundraised for won their own special recognition, which went to ‘NHS Frontline Heroes’. Prince William and Kate praised NHS workers for their “humility and compassion” as they presented the award.
Mr Johnson and his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, praised NHS staff for their “courage and dedication” during the COVID-19 pandemic and had nominated Luis and Jenny from St Thomas’ Hospital and the maternity ward at University College Hospital.
Sir Tom’s dedication inspired another winner, five-year-old Tony Hudgell, to set off on his own walking challenge.
After seeing the veteran on TV, Tony, who was abused so severely as a baby that his legs had to be amputated, raised more than £1m million during lockdown for the hospital that saved his life.
Herman Ouseley, a campaigner against racism in football who founded the charity Kick It Out, was also honoured.
Other winners at the ITV event included PC Claire Bond, a police officer who was seriously injured when she was run over by an out-of-control driver and Dena Murphy, a 91-year-old pensioner who has helped young offenders turn their lives around.
Two 11-year-olds were awarded: leukaemia patient Emmie Narayan-Nicholas, who provides meals and support to other ill children, and Sebastian Williams, who bravely scrambled 100 metres down a ravine to save his mother after she fell down a mountainside.
Holocaust survivor Sir Ben Helfgott won a lifetime achievement award for working to support other survivors and teach students about Nazi Germany.
Rebecca Beattie, who founded an ethical clothing brand to raise awareness for domestic abuse after surviving it herself, won a Prince’s Trust Young Achievers award.
The ITV Fundraiser Award went to “barefoot soldier” Major Chris Branningan, who marched 700 miles across the UK without shoes to raise more than £500,000 help those with a rare disorder which his eight-year-old daughter has.
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