'I will never forget it': Northampton cancer charity collect award at House of Lords
A Northampton cancer charity has been honoured with a British Citizen Award at a glitzy awards ceremony at the House of Lords.
Lorraine and Lee Lewis, of Upton, were nominated for their gong by an army of volunteers after working tirelessly in seven hospitals to gift cancer patients with goody bags.
At an official medal presentation held on January 23 they were presented with their award by TV presenter Michael Underwood for their dedication and services to healthcare.
Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo Lorraine said: "It was an amazing day, it was so surreal. I kept thinking 'is this really happening'? I will never forget it.
"We started in The House of Lords where they held the medal presentation with 30 other people before we did a lap of honour on an open-top bus around central London.
"When we came back there was a certificate presentation and Michael Underwood interviewed everyone about what their charities do and what impact their charities have.”
The Lewis Foundation was set up after the pair spent many years in the hospital when Lee’s Mum was being treated for cancer.
This had a huge impact on them when they saw many patients were left feeling scared, sad and lonely.
With no funds or experience, they decided to create a charity to give gifts to adult cancer patients, spend time with them and make them feel supported.
After three years, Lee, Lorraine and their 50 volunteers now hand out gifts to seven hospitals, worth about £2,000 a month, while the pair still work full time jobs.
Lorraine added: "I think all we wanted to do was help somebody.
"But we did not think it would grow to the extent it has now.
"We knew we wanted to cheer people up but we did not realise it was something that was so needed."
The couple were presented their medals by Wendy Pretten, managing director of sponsors Places for People Homes who said: “I was delighted to present Lorraine and Lee with their award after hearing about their charity, which brings some comfort and support to people in hospital, whilst dedicating their own time to help combat loneliness and isolation.
“Their efforts are truly admirable and they thoroughly deserve this recognition."