Former travel agent Nicola Graham, who set up the charity Reuben’s Retreat following the death of her youngest son in 2012, has been shortlisted for a national award.
She is one of 15 women in line for Woman&Home magazine’s Amazing Women Awards, which recognise women over 50 who are making a difference in all walks of life.
“From brilliant entrepreneurs to women who are changing our country and inspirational celebrities, amazing women are everywhere. We asked you to help us shine a light on community heroes across five UK regions, by nominating a woman in your area who deserves an Amazing Women Community Hero Award,” said the magazine.
“Never have our communities been more vital and valued than over the past 12 months. As the pandemic shrank our worlds, we have come to know our friends, neighbours, local businesses and services like never before.
“Thanks to everyone who nominated an amazing woman. The response was fantastic— and it was hard to narrow the list to 15 finalists, but these women were selected for their outstanding contribution to improving lives.”
Nicola, aged 50, was nominated for her work in helping to steer families through grief. Her charity Reuben’s Retreat supports families of children with complex illnesses and those who have lost children.
To date, the charity has helped more than 1,169 individuals across the UK.
Lancashire-based Nicola (pictured top, second from right) said: “Reuben collapsed suddenly on a family holiday in Devon, and within hours we were told he had a brain tumour. They tried to operate, but he suffered cardiac arrest and died.
“There are no words to describe the grief of losing your child, but setting up the charity was a way to ensure Reuben’s short life was not lived in vain. We offer families a sanctuary to create magical memories, and help them feel less isolated in their grief.”
Lianne Bertelli, who nominated Nicola, said: “Nicola is truly inspirational and dedicated to helping others in their time of need.”
Vote here: Voting closes on 31 July.