Harborough charity hero honoured by Prime Minister
A Harborough charity hero who has generated over £350,000 in the fight to beat a devastating illness has been honoured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Meriel Buxton, 81, who lives near Kibworth Beauchamp, was inspired to back the battle to conquer Parkinson’s disease after her brother Gavin sadly died with the life-changing, currently incurable condition in 2012.
The leading author and retired solicitor has now received Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award to recognise her towering achievements firing up the ‘Cure Parkinson’s’ charity.
Today delighted Meriel said: “I am most honoured and thrilled by this and would like to dedicate it to the memory of my husband James Buxton.
“He died two months ago and worked so hard as a volunteer for several different charities - including 'Cure Parkinson’s'.”
Congratulating Meriel on her coveted accolade from the Prime Minister, Harborough MP Neil O’Brien said: “I’d like to congratulate Meriel on winning the Points of Light award.
“It’s fantastic to see her hard work and incredible efforts being recognised in this way.
“Meriel has raised a tremendous sum for Parkinson’s that has made such a difference to their important research work - and I’d like to pay tribute to her and her brilliant contributions.”
Helen Matthews, deputy chief executive of 'Cure Parkinson’s', said: “Many congratulations to Meriel, a truly inspirational recipient of this Points of Light award.
“Her leadership of the 'Cure Parkinson’s Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland' committee has been visionary.”
She added: “She has created novel events from lectures to magazines, auctions to musical soirees, via photographic exhibitions and sponsored rides.
“Not only has she led the committee over the last eight years to raise £350,000 for research into a cure - but also through the numerous events both in person and online she has reached thousands of people and raised awareness and the profile of Parkinson’s across the region.”
Meriel has become legendary in charity circles in Leicestershire and throughout the East Midlands for her whole-hearted commitment, vision, inspiration and sheer drive over the last decade or so.
She has dedicated herself night and day to whipping up support for 'Cure Parkinson's' since her beloved brother Gavin’s death nine years ago.
Meriel has written her own magazine “Cabbages and Kings” - featuring high-profile writers like Terry Waite and Joanna Trollope.
And even amid the Covid lockdowns she was determined to host special fundraising events by setting up virtual markets as she strived relentlessly to shine a spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease.
Meriel was thrilled to be crowned ‘Cure Parkinson’s’ Fundraiser of the Year in 2020.
The genuine charity powerhouse is the 1,768th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award.
The scheme was launched in April 2014 to salute “outstanding individuals making a difference where they live”.