EVEN though it was a school night, Millie Roberts was allowed to stay up late, as this photo of her with TV presenter Myleene Klass shows.
The nine-year-old girl inspired the hugely successfully Millie’s Dream appeal and was with her mother Sarah at the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards in London.
Mrs Roberts, 47, of King’s Road, Henley, was nominated in the first aid category and decided to take her daughter with her as a treat.
Millie, a pupil at Rupert House School in Henley, has a heart and lung condition which prompted her mother to try to raise £15,000 to equip 10 schools with defibrillators when she launched the appeal in 2013
To date, the appeal has funded 55 machines, many of them in villages or public spaces as well as schools.
Each nominee at the awards ceremony on Wednesday last week was recognised for their lifesaving skills or unstinting commitment to ensuring more lives are saved through first aid.
And although Mrs Roberts didn’t win, she and her daughter had a great time at the ceremony, even persuading Klass, who hosted the evening, to pose for the picture with Millie and one of the life-saving devices.
The duo also met James Bye, who plays Martin Fowler in EastEnders.
Mrs Roberts said: “We are absolutely thrilled. We received a special commendation and a certificate and were among the top five in the country which, for a tiny charity, is fantastic.
“There were so many wonderful heartwarming stories. The woman who won our category was a worthy winner — there were definitely a few tears.
“The night itself was phenomenal. The hotel was right in the grounds of St Paul’s, the red carpets were out and the paparazzi were there.
“Millie absolutely loved the experience. We didn’t get home until 1.30am but she was allowed to go into school a bit later.”
Meanwhile, Millie’s Dream continues to raise money.
Mrs Roberts said: “I had an email from Binfield Heath on Tuesday morning about the 50th defibrillator being installed and we are now up to 55 in all.
“Money is still coming in from people, some of it from people I don’t even know.
“I am now encouraging people to apply to us for money and we will hand out between £250 and £500 towards each defibrillator, rather than paying for it all, so we can focus on education programmes.
She added: “Thank you to all the readers of the Henley Standard. The campaign is very much alive and we ask people to donate and get in touch with us from grants through Facebook.”
For more information, visit the Millie’s Dream Facebook page.