A RETIRED couple who have dedicated their later years to helping bullied children have spoken of their shock after learning they will be given a Pride of Britain award.
Fred and Viv Morgan, aged 94 and 72 respectively, opened Northleigh House in Hatton nine years ago and took over running it as a small hotel.
But after hearing increasingly common stories about children committing suicide due to bullying, the husband and wife team were inspired to transform their ten-bedroom home into a school for victims.
And now with more than 25 students graduating from their care in the last three years, the couple have been chosen to receive a Pride of Britain award.
Hosted by Carol Vorderman and attended by more than 100 famous faces – including Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron – the event will see winners from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the country commended for their extraordinary achievements.
Fred and Viv have recently been fundraising to pay for a £40,000 barn conversion, which will turn the building into a sports and drama centre for pupils.
The money is needed alongside funding to pay for the school, which relies nearly entirely on donations.
Taken aback by the announcement they will receive an award, Viv said: “It’s absolutely wonderful that we were even considered for the award, we never expected anything like this to happen to us.
“There are so many wonderful people who do so amazing things who receive these awards.
“Fred and I just love doing our job helping the children and we hope the award will have a positive effect on the school. It is difficult because we rely so much on the funds we raise to stay open. We’re not ones for peace and quiet so would love to be able to grow and help more children.
“We can’t wait for the ceremony, it’s all so exciting and new to us. I really am speechless about the whole thing.”
The couple will receive their award at the ceremony next Monday (September 28) in London with the event set to be broadcast on ITV on October 1.