The parents of a mental health campaigner who tragically died last year have accepted an award from the Deputy Prime Minister on her behalf.
Becki Luscombe, from Flitwick, was posthumously honoured by Nick Clegg in his prestigious Mental Health Hero Awards.
The 23 year old’s parents Richard and Sue attended a heart wrenching but touching ceremony in Whitehall, where Becki was recognised among just other nine other selected campaigners.
Mum Sue said: “We felt immense pride but profound sadness. We were just overwhelmed by everyone in the room applauding and saluting Becki and it was just the most wonderful thing and the saddest thing.”
Becki, who passed away in September, had been unwell since the age of 12 with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME, and other mental health problems.
Despite her own suffering she was a keen campaigner of mental health awareness and equality.
She produced a satirical YouTube video for ME Awareness Week called “Stuff people say to ME sufferers” and started a successful Twitter campaign in 2013, which led to several supermarkets withdrawing Halloween ‘mental patient’ costumes from their shelves and issuing apologies.
During her times in hospital she would befriend patients and tweet practical advice to others in similar situations.
At special ceremony last week, Mr Clegg made time to speak with Becki’s parents.
Sue said: “The firs thing we were told was Nick Clegg wants to speak to you personally.
“He was very heartfelt and very sincere. We were bowled over.”
Speaking before the event Mr Clegg said: “We cannot fail to be humbled and moved by Becki’s tragic story. She contributed so much in her life and it is a great privilege to be able to honour her memory.
“The work Becki did to raise the profile of mental health issues make her a very worthy winner and I hope others will follow her example so that together we can bring mental health out of the shadows and make it as important as physical health.”
The awards evening coincided with Time to Talk Day last Thursday, which asked people to take five minutes to talk about mental health.
Both Sue and Richard have pledged to continue Becki’s campaigning work following her death and many friends from her school days at Redborne Upper School in Ampthill have taken up the fundraising mantle.
During the weekend Daniel O’Brien did a skydive, raising almost £600 for mental health charity Mind.