Charity Leader of the Year
A Bolton woman who created a good cause following the heartbreak of losing her four-month-old daughter has just been named, “Charity Leader of the Year.”
Carren Bell endured every mother’s nightmare when her four-month-old daughter Lagan passed away from a heart condition, following a harrowing battle after being discharged from hospital. Carren’s plight was made even worse by a woeful lack of support from community nurses.
Organised by publication Care Management Matters, the awards are open to anyone in the care sector who supports children or adults. Lagan’s Foundation actually does both by providing at-home carers for families where a child may have serious feeding issues or a heart defect – taking the pressure off beleaguered parents. Carren received her accolade at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square and in typical style immediately dedicated it to her hard-working team. Said Carren: “I am really humbled to have received this award, but I really believe it is about the work that our carers and everyone associated with Lagan’s has put in. It is so important that our charity and our community is recognised at a national level. Without the kindness and support of the people around me, Lagan’s Foundation would never have been able to help parents in the tragic situation that I was once in. They have truly changed lives for the better.”
Since its formation, Lagan’s has brought honour to the baby girl who Carren simply calls, “Angel”. Her story is told on the website in true Lagan’s style – not to merely upset but to inspire change and action. That site is also littered with stories of past successes and the babies and children Lagan’s has helped. Young ones such as April, who was born with a damaged left heart ventricle, but who had a volunteer who befriended her and allowed her mum to get on with the tasks in life that the rest of us take for granted.
Carren concluded: “I am really proud of the huge difference we have made to the families we support. But the vision I had following Lagan’s passing has not yet been achieved. The NHS and the social care system is still failing to give the parents we support the care they need – and that is where we step in. We want to reach all areas of the country and support all parents facing the crisis of caring for a desperately sick child but can only do this with more resource. Join with us, donate to our work and let the word “hope” be Lagan’s legacy.”