‘Inspirational’ Long Covid campaigner made a Coronation Champion

Sammie said: “It’s a great honour. This will hopefully shine a light on Long Covid in children and our charity. We have been fighting so hard to raise awareness and this recognition is for all the hard work the team has been doing.

“I was blown away to receive the email and the fact that the King and the Queen Consort are recognising Long Covid means so much.”

She added: “This could result in further investment and biomedical research which is so badly needed to benefit all the children who are dealing with this complex health condition. We will keep striving to reach the aims of our charity which is what it is all about.”

Trustee of the charity, Nicola Webster-Hart also congratulated Ms McFarland on her achievement as the health crisis in children grows.

Ms Webster-Hart said: “Congratulations, Sammie McFarland on your recognition as a Coronation Champion!

“Your tireless efforts and advocacy on behalf of children, young people, and their families affected by Long Covid and chronic illness are truly commendable and deserving of celebration.

“Your dedication to raising awareness and supporting those in need is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to this important cause.”

Ms McFarland is one of 500 volunteers around the UK who have been recognised for their work by the Royal Voluntary Service. The champions are not only endowed with a Coronation Champions pin badge but also receive gifts from both King Charles and Queen Camilla.

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The volunteers receive a signed certificate from King Charles and Queen Camilla as well as an invitation to one of the Coronation Celebrations, such as the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle or the Coronation Garden Party.

Although the volunteers will be able to revel in their deserved recognition over the Coronation weekend, after that has passed they will continue their selfless work.

For Ms McFarland, she will continue to work to raise awareness of the latest health crisis in the UK, the growing number of children with Long Covid.

While it was originally thought Covid-19 didn’t affect younger age groups as much as adults, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting this may not have been the case.

As the pandemic has progressed, the number of children with symptoms has grown dramatically.

Figures from the ONS suggest that around 62,000 children in the UK have Long Covid. Of this group, 53,000 have had symptoms for at least a year.

As with adults, symptoms of Long Covid vary in their type and severity. Some children have been left unable to walk because of the condition which has no cure.

The lack of a cure or treatment to stabilise the disease rather than just treat the symptoms has left virologists concerned for a generation of children.

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