FP Olivia Strong Awarded MBE for NHS 'Run for Heroes' Fundraiser

Posted on 14th Oct 2020 in Charity, Community, Former Pupil, The Mary Erskine School, ESMS

FP Olivia Strong has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her role as Founder of the NHS fundraising campaign ‘Run for Heroes’ which raised a huge £6.7 million for NHS Charities Together during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.

2011 leaver Olivia Strong alongside other Former Pupils, Alice Taylor and India Pappalardo-Strachan, set up a social media fundraising challenge which urged people to run 5k, donate £5 to NHS Charities Together and then nominate 5 other friends to take part. The ‘Run for Heroes’ campaign quickly took off, smashing their initial fundraising target of £5,000 in just 4 days and going on to surpass their incredible target of £5 million exactly one month later. Even celebrities such as Olympian Sir Mo Farah and singer Ellie Goulding took part!

After deservedly being awarded a Points of Light Award from Prime Minister Boris Johnson in May, Olivia has now been awarded an MBE in the delayed Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “services to Fundraising during Covid-19.”

Olivia told the Edinburgh Reporter “When the letter came telling me I had been awarded the MBE, I was completely speechless. I just felt this was the right thing to do at the time, and I was trying to be part of the community.”

“This is a Run for Heroes MBE, to represent not only all those who took part, but most importantly the special women behind the campaign who made it happen. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support the campaign since day 1, it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s contribution”, she wrote on LinkedIn.

Kirsty Nicholson, Head of The Mary Erskine School, said:

“We all remember Olivia, Alice and India and are so proud of the incredible work they did to support the NHS during the pandemic and get the nation up and running.  We were delighted to be able to support the initiative during lockdown, when the current school community were also encouraged to don their running shoes!  I am particularly moved by the way Olivia accepted her prestigious award with such grace, side stepping her own achievement to recognise those she has worked with.  The traits of a true MES girl.”

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