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Bethany is all smiles after winning top Red Cross award

For immediate release 13 October
For further information Catherine Bates
Contact number  01158505954 / 07834527105

12 year old Bethany Hare from Leeds has won the top award in the category of ‘fundraising’ at this year’s Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Awards this weekend in London.

Bethany scooped the award in recognition of her extraordinary work raising money for Martin House Children's Hospice in Boston Spa, Wetherby, for whom she has raised over £14,800 so far.

Bethany produced and starred in a short Charlie Chaplin style film, ‘Smile’, which was made using her own savings and raised nearly £8,000. Following the video’s success she organised the first ‘Walk of Smiles’ in Horsforth where, dressed as Chaplin, she did a 10K sponsored walk with over 200 people dressed in outfits to make people smile, including Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis. Prior to the walk she paid visits to several local schools to talk about her walk and encourage people to join her.

Bethany’s mum, Yvonne Hare said: “Bethany was determined to cover the running costs of the hospice for one full day, which is why she made her target £11,000, but after the success of the ‘Walk of Smiles’ she has smashed her target and is now considering increasing it to £22,000 to run the hospice for two days. She is truly inspirational and I think she is going to be a fundraiser for life - we’re extremely proud of her!” 

Bethany, who picked up the award at a glittering ceremony at the Bishopgate Institute on Saturday (8 October), said: “I was so shocked when they called out my name. I looked over at mum and we both had big wide eyes – I really didn’t expect to win.”

Bethany has already decided to make her ‘Walk of Smiles’ an annual event with the next one already planned for 8 September 2012. To watch Bethany’s video or to make a donation visit 

The Red Cross’ Humanitarian Citizen Awards are open to young people aged under 26 who have made a positive impact on an individual or community. The nominees do not need to have any connection with the Red Cross.

The award is judged by a panel of under 25s, who pick the winners of four categories – fundraising, first aid, volunteering and community action as well as an overall winner.

Robin Wells, Red Cross youth development co-ordinator for the UK, said: “The Humanitarian Citizen Awards is a celebration of young people and the amazing things that so many of them do.

“All over the country, children and young people are working away quietly, helping out and making a huge difference to the lives of others. The Red Cross believes their selfless acts should be recognised, encouraged and applauded. We are proud of them and, through the Humanitarian Citizen Awards, we want everyone to share that pride.”

The Humanitarian Citizen Award is kindly sponsored by Canon, who have supported the award since it began in 2005.


The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.