A COMPASSIONATE Marlborough teenager who set up a charity in memory of her stillborn nephew has been recognised with a national honour.

Emily Palmer, 17, has received a British Citizen Award (BCA) for her services to volunteering and charitable giving.

Now entering their second year, the British Citizen Awards, in partnership with InMoment, were launched in January 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Emily, a St John's Marlborough student, established Oscar’s Fund in 2014, following the death of her nephew Oscar Angus Rennie, who was stillborn at 31 weeks. Oscar was survived by his twin sister, Claudia Ava Rennie, who was also born at 31 weeks, and who spent the first month of her life in a neonatal unit.

Since starting Oscar’s Fund, Emily has undertaken various fundraising projects including an online auction raising more than £1,700 for Sands, a UK charity providing support for bereaved parents and their families; a Facebook campaign to raise money for the neonatal unit that cared for Oscar’s twin sister; a barn dance that raised almost £1,000 jointly for Tamba, the Twin and Multiple Birth charity, and family bereavement charity Children are Butterflies.

She has also held a Teddy Bear's Picnic and Forest Trail for the charity Tommy's, and a Halloween Ball, which she ran with a friend for three charities: Naomi House, Tommy's and Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby Club, which raised £4,800.

This December, Emily, along with her sister Victoria Palmer, is also making special gift boxes up for all of the babies on the maternity unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to be given out on Christmas Day.

Emily was one of 33 medallists who were honoured at a prestigious ceremony on January 28, at the Palace of Westminster, presented by Larry Lamb. Successful medallists were selected from public nominations by a panel of independent assessors.

Speaking about her award, Emily said: “It has been quite difficult at times, speaking to people who attend the events because they have had a similar experience to my sister, but it has also meant that I have been able to see the direct link between the fundraising I am doing and the support they have received from the various charities."

Emily was nominated for a BCA by her sister, Victoria Palmer.

She said: “I think what makes Emily's contribution stand out as award winning is the huge amount of work that she has done in just one year. Her determination and perseverance has shown to be unbreakable as Emily, having battled with illness herself this year has not let this stop her or the events happening and has gone above and beyond what people expected her to be able to do and surprised herself."