The Prime Minister has today, 26 October, recognised Professor Tim Eden, from Edinburgh, for lending medical expertise to assist children living with cancer, helping the charity ‘World Child Cancer’ to assist 5,000 children living with cancer each year.
In developed countries 80% of children diagnosed with cancer survive, however in developing countries survival rates can be as low as 10%. Tim has been an invaluable trustee to the charity since it was launched in 2007, combatting this issue by lending his oncology expertise. He uses his network of medical contacts to develop effective partnerships between hospitals in high income countries with struggling childhood cancer units in Africa, Asia, and Central America. Tim advises the charity, which receives funding from DFID, on providing essential medicines including chemotherapy supplies, transport costs, awareness raising initiatives and essential staff roles. Tim is also the medical adviser to the ‘Teenage Cancer Trust’ in Scotland and has chaired a number of international committees, including as President of the ‘International Society of Paediatric Oncologists.’
Tim is the latest recipient 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 Tim, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
"The success of World Child Cancer is a testament to your invaluable work creating lasting partnerships between hospitals in developed countries and struggling cancer wards in Africa, Asia and Central America. By lending your extensive medical expertise to the charity, you are providing essential support to thousands of children with cancer every year."
"This is a big surprise but a very welcome one not just to me but for all my wonderful colleagues with whom I work as a volunteer at World Child Cancer and the hospital teams in both high –income countries and those in developing countries who have been recruited to create twinning partnerships to improve the diagnosis, care and survival of children worldwide."
Tim is the 1033rd winner 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.