16 year old Abi Wardle from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders has been named the first ever winner of The Annie Dow Heroism Award – TADHA for short.
The award takes its inspiration from Annie Dow, a young woman who has additional support needs, who saved the lives of her mother, father, family friend and dog Hamish when she bravely raised the alarm after discovering a fire in the middle of the night which destroyed her home.
Launched in October 2014, TADHA has been made possible by an anonymous donor who gifted £20,000 to recognise the heroic actions of young people with additional support needs in Scotland.
Abi will receive a specially commissioned TADHA trophy as designed by original hero Annie, as well as a cash prize of £2,500 at a special awards ceremony on the 19th March at Edinburgh’s Summerhall.
Now a trainee hairdresser at Borders College, Abi was nominated for the Award by Jo Glover, Scottish Borders Young Carers Service co-ordinator who said:
“In December 2013 shortly after completing a basic first aid course, Abi dealt with not one, but two potentially life-threatening situations involving close family members when, within days of each other, her Mum, Lisa and younger brother, Ben collapsed with breathing problems.
“On both occasions Abi had to react quickly and in the case of her Mum, perform CPR until the paramedics, whom Abi had called arrived. With Ben the situation was equally as terrifying and Abi had to put him into the recovery position and unblock his airways. Both have since been diagnosed with whooping cough.”
“On top of her heroic actions, Abi is also a carer for her Dad, Peter who has cancer. She truly is a remarkable young woman and I wanted her to know just how much her heroic actions mean to both her family and the local community.”
Commenting on the announcement of Abi as the winner of the Award, TADHA founder Sophie Dow said:
“The central aim of TADHA is to recognise the unsung heroes in our society and I am delighted that Jo took the time to nominate Abi, as we have in her a true TADHA Hero .
“We believe that the true definition of a hero is someone who can stay calm under pressure, in a crisis or an emergency, knows what to do and does it well without panicking. Abi Wardle did just that and then some more as without her heroic actions, her mother and brother simply wouldn’t be here today.”
On hearing that she had won the award Abi said:
“I feel honoured that Jo felt that what I did was worthy of this award and I’m absolutely over the moon to have won it!”
“I’m so glad that I did that first aid course as it meant that when Mum and Ben collapsed, I knew exactly what to do and didn’t even need to think about it. I can’t wait for the awards ceremony next month.”