An inspirational young fundraiser has been presented with the British Empire Medal at a special ceremony at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital today.
23 year old Mark Peers was awarded the honour in the Queen’s New Year Honours List to acknowledge his charitable volunteering and fundraising for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
The British Empire Medal is given to those who have demonstrated that they have made a difference to the lives of others in their communities. Only 300 medals are awarded in each of the Queen’s Birthday and New Year Honours Lists.
Born with a Cleft, Lip and Palate and Osteomyelitis, Mark spent his childhood in and out of Alder Hey and has had over 100 operations. A bone infection in his right leg meant that his bones stopped growing prematurely and this resulted him having his right leg amputated when he was just eight years old.
After overcoming all these difficulties, Mark was determined to raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Over the last 12 years, he has done all he can to raise thousands of pounds for the Charity by selling raffle tickets, collecting money and taking part in various challenges and events. In 2014, Mark trekked 30 miles across the Great Wall of China for Alder Hey and is preparing to walk along Hadrian’s Wall in September. He has also signed up to the Charity’s Grand Canyon Challenge in October 2016.
Mark was presented with his Medal on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen by Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE (Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside) on the ward where he spent much of his time at Alder Hey. Hospital patients and families were joined at the ceremony by Mark’s family and VIP guests, including The Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Tony Concepcion, The Worshipful, the Mayor of Sefton Cllr Stephen Kermode, Sir David Henshaw and Professor Michael Brown CBE DL (Co-Chairs of Alder Hey Children’s Charity) and Clare White (Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s Charity).
Mark said: “I feel extremely proud and honoured to be awarded the British Empire Medal. Alder Hey is and always will be my second home. I wouldn’t be able to tell my story if it wasn’t for the wonderful doctors, surgeons, nurses, porter, cleaners, cooks and everyone at Alder Hey.
“Over the last few years I have enjoyed being involved with Alder Hey Children’s Charity, from bucket shaking to abseiling down Anglican Cathedral and trekking along the Great Wall of China. I will always do whatever I can to help the hospital and I’ll keep shaking that bucket as long as I can. To continue challenging myself while raising funds for a charity and hospital close to my heart is a great honour.”
Clare White, Chief Executive Officer from Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “On behalf of everyone at Alder Hey Children’s Charity, I would like to congratulate Mark on receiving his British Empire Medal. We are all incredibly pleased that he has been awarded such a prestigious and deserved honour. This is a very proud moment for all those connected to our charity. The award is fantastic recognition for Mark who has dedicated so much of his time to Alder Hey since being treated here as a child. We remain grateful to him for his continuous support.”
Dame Lorna said: “Public recognition remains an excellent means of ensuring that those in our communities who make a difference to the love of others are recognised. In Merseyside, many people commit much time, effort and energy to ensure those less fortunate amongst us have opportunity and happiness.
“Mark Peers, through his commitment to others is rightly recognised. It is with great pleasure that I, as her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, undertake this very important task of presenting The British Empire Medal on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll. Her Majesty sends Mark, his family and friends, her best wishes and thanks for what he has done and the valuable contribution he has made to others.”