Sorting, packing and selling poppies has become a way of life for Sian Cameron.
The Poppy Appeal organiser thinks nothing of devoting hours, days and weeks of her time, doing her bit for the Royal British Legion.
But to all those around her, Sian’s contribution is recognised as something spectacular.
Today the 35-year-old from Wolviston has been commended by the Prime Minister, named one of the UK’s Points of Light.
Following in her late father Ian Cameron’s footsteps, Sian said: “The Hartlepool Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal is a charity that was very close to my dad’s heart.”
As Poppy Appeal organiser for the town, she said: “It is something he was passionate about and it has definitely gone on to become a family thing as I would never have been involved if it wasn’t for him.”
When Ian passed away in 2010 Sian didn’t think twice about stepping up and now she shares that same passion. The town raised a whopping £58,000 for the charity last year.
Shocked to be put forward for such a prestigious accolade, Sian, who is centre support manager for Stockton training group, NETA Training, knows that her father would have been proud.
But she is always quick to point out that their success is always the result of a team effort.
“Over the past seven years I have found the generosity in the town to be unbelievable,” she said.
“It is overwhelming how generous people are during the Poppy Appeal – they would give their last penny for this worthy cause.”
With their fundraising total increasing year on year, she said: “This wouldn’t be possible without the help, hard work and support from my friends, family and local organisations who all help contribute to our amazing final figure.”
She includes a special mention of her colleagues at NETA Training, who she says come November are not only accommodating of her voluntary duties, but also get on board volunteering to man the stands or collecting and delivering poppies.
The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
Each day one person across the UK is selected to receive the award to celebrate their achievements. Sian is the UK’s 826th Point of Light.
In a letter to Sian, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Your remarkable achievement of distributing 420,000 poppies in your local branch of the Royal British Legion as part of the poppy appeal is continuing your father’s great fundraising legacy.
“You are inspiring hundreds of new volunteers to join the Hartlepool branch and in doing so ensuring that the next generation will remember those who gave their lives while serving our country.”