Today I am deeply overwhelmed and emotional at announcing the Beautiful Hero of 2017.
The first of our heroes since our first and original Beautiful Hero Louise, who as many of you will know is the driving force and motivation behind Tribe517.
What a task to select just one person from reading the amazing stories of courage, hardship, ill health and other life changing challenges, but select one we had to.
I am more than delighted to announce that the Beautiful Hero 2017 is Cilla Squires, nominated by Kerry Summers.
Not surprisingly the chosen charity is the Squires Effect, and you can see their work on their Facebook Page
Her daughter Penny has these brief words to say about her life, which in turn explains why Kerry nominated her
“Cilla grew up in Great Glen Leicestershire with her 3 brothers. Cilla’s father passed away when she was 25 so only got to meet one of his five grandchildren from Cilla.
Cilla had a promising career as a fabric designer but gave it all up when she had Maxine her first child to look after her full time. Cilla then had Grant, Nicola, Claire and Penny. There was never much money but the house was filled with love, laughter and friends. Cilla and her husband Paul were the best parents anyone could wish for and devoted their lives to their children.
For as long as Penny can remember Cilla was heavily involved with the Samaritans committing her free time as a volunteer. She manned the phones, so people in their hour of need had someone to speak to, she visited inmates in prison who needed someone to listen to them. Cilla did fundraising events to raise money and became the branch director.
As the children grew older Cilla started to work at a care home for the elderly, soon becoming the manager and stayed there for over 10 years.
The families lives fell apart in 2001 when Grant passed away due to addiction. Life was never the same again and Cilla threw herself into helping others with the Samaritans and set up a support group to help parents going through a similar ordeal.
In 2012 their beautiful daughter Claire tragically died whilst running the London marathon. The family are still devastated at the loss and life has never been the same after losing Grant and Claire.
As a family they wanted something positive to come out of the tragedy. So Cilla, Penny Maxine and Susie set up the Squires Effect. Over the past 4 years the charity has raised £tens of thousands to help those less fortunate in the Leicestershire area. As trustees they volunteer their time and encourage others to do the same because Cilla will always say “there’s always someone worse off than yourselves”. Penny says “to have that attitude after what life has dealt my Mum, is truly inspirational”.
Cilla has gone into semi retirement recently so she can do more work for the Squires Effect and spend more time with her 9 grandchildren.
Penny says ” my mum is the best mum and grandma that anyone could wish for and she has given so much of her life to helping others . She is the most selfless person I know”.
“From my point of view Cilla is inspirational and amazing. She is so loved by so many people and is always the first person to ask if you’re ok, send her love and give a lending hand. She is also very humble as she doesn’t think that she is, or that she does anything special, but all of us that know and genuinely love Cilla will tell you different. I cannot think of anyone who could be more worthy of the award “Beautiful Hero”. She means the absolute world to her family and friends and the numerous people helped through the charity. You may not see her for weeks or months because of work and hectic lives we all lead but you know that she is only ever a phone call away and she will drop everything to help.”
The Original Beautiful Hero
It would of course be impossible for this day to pass without me making mention of my own Beautiful Hero, who left us for heaven two years ago today, who I miss and think about on a daily, if not hourly basis.
My own special Angel who continues to guide me and gives me a damned fine shove from behind if I get a little lax with anything at all! Giving you 100% down here!
Lots love always Louloubelle