Reflections on Points of Light

David Nicholls, founder of nsif, was this month given a Points of Light Award by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The Cabinet Office presented the award to David at nsif’s Golf Day earlier this month and this #ThrowbackThursday we’re reliving the moment. In the photo above you can see nsif full-time volunteer and CEO Mike Milner presenting David, trustee and founder of nsif, with the award.

The Points of Light awards were created to inspire and commend UK citizens’ heroic charitable efforts. They highlight how the acts of one individual can change society at large. Often people are driven to act when something affects them personally: an accident, an illness, a social problem. Sometimes, such as in the case of scientific research, it can simply be insatiable curiosity that drives people. Whatever the cause, for those of us who follow on from the trailblazers, when we are confronted with an illness or situation that somebody has already tried to solve, we are eternally grateful for their efforts. Without those initial efforts, progress wouldn’t occur.

Talking about his award, David described what keeps him motivated: “When my son Daniel broke his neck in a swimming accident I made him a promise that he will one day walk again and I am very hopeful that one day I will fulfill the promise I made to Dan.”

David’s promise to Daniel led to the founding of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. It also led to Darek Fidyka, a man who had a severed spinal cord, taking his first steps after two years of paralysis. The journey we are on today, to confirm the findings in Darek in more patients and potentially develop a treatment for spinal cord injury, is down to that promise – and to the great support we’ve received since.

The ripples of change they create in the world are something that David and his fellow Points of Light winners can all be immensely proud of.

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