Olympic Torch - Dunstable

July 9th, 2012 at 07.43

Meet Your Torchbearers

Olympic Torch - Dunstable Name: Katrina Blunt
Hometown: Pitstone
Age: 33
Nomination: Katrina is the voluntary chairperson of our local pre-school, a registered charity serving the children of Pitstone and surrounding area. She juggles this amongst being a Mum to two young children (1 and 4 years old), and gives hours of her time voluntarily to ensure 'small people' of our villages get the best possible start in their school life. In 2010, she took on the role when the preschool was under threat of closure, and tirelessly worked to motivate the staff who were uncertain of the future, engage parents who wanted the best for their children and build a plan to secure and make the preschool the best it can be - all for no reward. She eventually led a move to a new purpose built premises securing funding, grants and physically leading the move in deep snow! She even ran a half marathon raising £1400 for vital new toys and equipment. It has recently been assessed at the highest level for improvement by the Council - a testament to the whole team of course, but one person has led them with boundless energy and unconditional support and encouragement - Katrina.
Olympic Torch - Dunstable Name: Matt King
Hometown: Bedfordshire
Age: 25
Nomination: Matt deserves this nomination due to his incredible determination to overcome a devastating injury and be an inspiration to all tetraplegics. In 2004, at the age of 17, Matt was playing Rugby League for the London Broncos Academy team when he sustained a horrendous neck injury which left him completely paralysed from the neck down and unable to breathe without a ventilator. This devastating condition is permanent After 8 months in Stoke Mandeville hospital, Matt returned home then, using a powered wheelchair and onboard ventilator, he returned to school to complete his 'A' levels. Subsequently he was accepted by the University of Hertfordshire to study Law. He graduated after 3 years study with a First Class Honours degree and is currently doing further study to enhance his degree. He has been offered employment as a solicitor by 'Stewarts Law' in London from September this year.
Olympic Torch - Dunstable Name: Penny Green
Hometown: Dunstable
Age: 51
Nomination: If people take the time to get to know someone with Down's Syndrome they will find that they bring so much joy to those who know them.To build on my work of the past 20 years to raise awareness of Down's Syndrome and the achievements that are possible by individuals if they are given appropriate support. To increase parental and organisational links to promote sharing of information and support. To encourage more support for other countries where understanding acceptance and intervention are not available. I currently have links with Nigeria and would like not only to be in a position to do more to further the work being done over there but to be able to promote links with other nations to share knowledge and experience and speed up the process of acceptance knowledge and understanding rather than them having to start from scratch. To promote a better life!
Olympic Torch - Dunstable Name: Samantha Griffiths
Hometown: Watford
Age: 45
Nomination: Our teacher goes above and beyond her call of duty at school and personifies the epitome of pastoral care. She has been a head of year, a mother figure and above all, a friend to every single one of the 140 girls in my year group. She is always there for anyone who needs a chat and no matter how much work she has to do (which is a lot) and how stressed out she is, she will always pull you aside to chat if she knows something is wrong. When a girl in our year suffered with anorexia and overdosed, our teacher was the person who noticed and as a quote from the girl `I literally owe her my life... she put my life back on track`. I recently found out I have dyslexia and have always felt I am stupid because of my lack of understanding in class and the knowledge that I have this problem has meant I can access the help I need. Without her, this never would have happened. Dyslexia tests are expensive and for me the money to pay for the test would have been hard to find, but she arranged meetings with different teachers and managed to find a way for my test to be paid alternatively.
Olympic Torch - Dunstable Name: Sasha Harvey
Hometown: Abingdon
Age: 39
Nomination: Whilst training for the London Marathon Sasha noted the amount of litter that lined the verges and hedgerows in the countryside surrounding the village in which she lived.  She produced a flyer, put it through the doors of every house in the village, booked the village hall, laid-on tea and biscuits and purchased bin bags by the hundreds.  More than 40 car tyres and 36 full bin liners of litter later and our village was purged of years of litter.

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