Emma Garbutt has been put forward for a coveted national diversity award for being a positive role model after campaigning for better support for young people with cancer.
Emma, a country music artist and charity fundraiser, started her project ‘The Kindness Drive’ in February 2021 after losing her best friend to a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.
"It hurt me to see him lose his independence and I decided I wanted to help.
"I want to be able to make the lives of young people with cancer easier and more independent.”
Since starting The Kindness Drive, Emma has donated thousands of home comfort items to young cancer wards around Yorkshire, hundreds of Christmas gifts to children’s hospitals and hundreds of menstrual products to people in need.
Emma said: “I started The Kindness Drive after losing my best friend.
“It came to my attention that often young people with cancer would be rushed into hospital with little to no notice and therefore they didn’t have the things that would usually make somebody comfortable whilst in hospital,” she said.
"I wanted to give them the option to just grab the things they need rather than relying on someone else to provide things for them.”
Alongside running The Kindness Drive, Emma recently became the community fundraiser for South Yorkshire for Yorkshire’s brain tumour charity and started an Instagram live series called ‘The big C-hat’ where she talks to different people about their experience with cancer or working with people with cancer.
Emma said: “Putting together the Instagram live series has been extremely rewarding and very eye opening, people contact me with their stories, and some are truly heart breaking whilst others are actually incredibly uplifting.
"I’m very lucky to be in the position to potentially help other people and provide support for somebody in a similar situation to my best friend.”
Emma’s hard work has paid off as she has been nominated for a coveted National Diversity Award for being a positive role model in the category of disability.
The National Diversity Awards is the UK’s most prestigious diversity event and the judging panel is made up of 25 champions of diversity from different industries including household names such as Katie Piper and actor Ash Palmisciano.
"It is such an honour to even have been nominated.’ Emma said. “The work I do is so important to me, to be recognised on such a large scale is incredible’.
Emma is now hoping for success at the Miss Great Britain final held in October in Leicester after placing in the top 12 last year and winning the talent round. The 77 year old title is currently held by Eden McAllister, with two other age categories, Ms Great Britain and Ms Great Britain Classic having been added in recent years.
Source - Doncaster Free Press