The Prime Minister has today, 6 September, recognised Garreth and Nicola Wood, from Edinburgh, for their exceptional service creating specialist paediatric operating theatres in developing countries.
Garreth and Nicola Wood created Kids Operating Room when they learned of the huge number of children who die every year simply because there are no surgical facilities for them when they are needed. They opened the first ever specialist paediatric Operating Theatre in Rwanda and have gone on to open similar facilities in 10 other countries.
KidsOR is a global health charity founded by Garreth and Nicola Wood. Focused on developing sustainable surgical services for children in low- and middle-income countries, it has been hailed as the most impactful and meaningful development in children’s surgery anywhere in the world. Working across Africa and Latin America, KidsOR have already provided more than 13,000 children with access to emergency life-saving and/or life-changing surgery. As a result, more than 220,000 years of disability have been prevented from ever happening.
Garreth and Nicola are the latest recipients of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Garreth and Nicola, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you responded to the desperate need for paediatric medical facilities across Africa, and how your creation of specially designed operating theatres is saving thousands of lives each year.”
Garreth and Nicola said:
“We are honoured and delighted to receive this award from the Prime Minister. It is testimony to the hard work of the incredible surgical teams we partner with that so many children are able to access the emergency care they need.
“We believe access to surgery is a basic human right and we look forward to a day when no child will die, or be forced to live their life in pain or disability, because they can’t get the surgical care they need and deserve.”
Garreth and Nicola are the 1242nd and 1243rd winners of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.