PDSA Order of Merit
Molly became the fourth dog and fourteenth animal to receive the PDSA Order of Merit, known as the "Animal OBE", for outstanding devotion to me and to her duty as my Assistance Dog. It recognises how Molly has not only changed, but transformed my life - and given me a whole new life in the process. I would not be Lucy Watts MBE without her. It's a prestigious honour for an animal to receive such an honour, but Molly is so, so worthy. She's a truly exceptional dog.
"The Medal is awarded to recognise animals that have shown outstanding acts of devotion and that symbolise the special relationship between animals and humans." (PDSA)
You can read the story on the PDSA website - click here. Below is our presentation video.
Crufts Friends for Life 2014
Molly and I were winners of the Friends for Life competition at Crufts 2014, voted winners by the British Public.
We found out we were finalists and had our story video recorded in the January of 2014, which was wonderful. Then we, along with the other finalists, launched the competition at the Kennel Club Headquarters and in Green Park on the 18th February, doing some press work to publicise the competition and us as finalists. Then it was up to people to vote for us.
We headed to Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham on Friday the 8th March 2014 and on the Saturday we enjoyed Crufts, visited the Dog A.I.D. stand and various others and had a great time, interspersed with some press activity. Then on the Sunday 9th, we were up bright and early to rehearse the procedure for us in the results ceremony, before heading into Crufts, popping back for more press activity and then mum, Molly and I relaxed in bed for a few hours before the busy evening ahead when the winner would be announced.
Then it was time to head back for the ceremony. After waiting in the bar/green room for about an hour or two, we were taken to the arena where we watched Mary Ray and Richard Curtis give a heelwork to music demonstration, before it was our turn to go into the ring. We were introduced and each headed into our own spotlight in the arena. Our story films were played for the spectators and public at home, before each being interviewed by Clare Blading. Then the winner was announced - and it was Molly and I! There's a delay you can see on the video between the announcement and it occurring to me that they'd said our names. What an amazing achievement, our story had captivated people enough to vote us the winners. Our time at Crufts I look back on fondly, it was the most wonderful experience. Here are two videos, the results ceremony and our story video.
Crufts Friends for Life 2014 Results ceremony
Our Crufts Friends for Life Video
Dogs Today Medal (2014)
Molly was also awarded the Dogs Today Medal in 2014 for changing my life, presented at the London Pet Show at Earls Court in May 2014.
"The Dogs Today award recognises a pet or person who has done something remarkable or inspirational." (Dogs Today Magazine)
Molly was rewarded with a sterling silver medal made by contemporary jewellery designer Helen Noakes, and a year’s supply of James Wellbeloved dog food.
BDTS Working Partnership Trophy (2013)
At our dog training school that we attended 2013-2014, we were the recipients of the Working Partnership Trophy for how much we improved and how well we worked as a partnership that year.
Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Young People with Disabilities
I was appointed MBE in the 2016 New Years Honours in recognition for my voluntary work, working with seven charities and taking on many other projects, advocating for other young people like myself at meetings including the House of Commons and the Department of Health, giving speeches, writing blogs and other items, appearing in videos and in the media and attending and contributing to meetings and events. My work centres on many topics, but the large body of my work has been in palliative care, especially for children and young adults and on the transition period between child and adult services. It's a huge achievement for someone my age, I was 22 when I received the Honour.
This was the official announcement for my MBE:
MISS LUCY ALEXANDRIA WATTS 22 yrs old (BENFLEET, ESSEX)
For services to Young People with Disabilities
She has worked tirelessly to be an advocate for other young people with health and disability conditions and to educate others about the needs of children and young people who require constant 24/7 care and the challenges they face. She uses social media to write and speak for charities and for those without a voice, wanting to make her life count and inspiring others to do the same. She posts regularly on her website Lucy’s Light - most recently to promote Dying Awareness Week in May 2015. Her main focus of activity has been children’s palliative care. She has extended this to influencing national policymakers and expert advisers to government.