Jenny's Royal Visit Charity hero meets PrinceWilliam and Kate
East Kilbride’s fundraising superstar Jenny Cook met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after being named runnerup in the Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards.
The 15-year-old from Stewartfield was invited on a tour of the famous Radio 1 studios before being whisked to Kensington Palace for her royal appointment.
However, it was one kind gesture and a truly touching tribute from a London cabbie that made Jenny’s day extra special.
An Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) fighter, the remarkable teen told the News Prince William and Kate Middleton were amazed when she told them she had raised an incredible £342,000 in her role as a young ambassador for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and the Catherine McEwan Foundation since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at just four years old.
Kate said: “My goodness me you’ve been seriously busy,” while Prince William quipped: “Wow, we need you as our fundraising manager for our foundation.”
And while on a taxi journey from her hotel to London’s Euston train station, cabbie Paul Renn was so humbled by Jenny’s inspirational story he refused to let her mum Kirsteen pay the fare.
Paul’s kind act went viral over the weekend as Jenny used the power of social media to track down her generous driver – who responded with a stirring message from the heart describing inspirational Jenny as a real-life superhero.
Jenny told the News: “My mum and I got a taxi from our hotel to the train station to go home and the driver was asking if we had been on holiday in London.
“When I told him why I was in London he couldn’t believe it and wouldn’t let my mum pay the £25 fare. He said he was going to tell all his customers about me from now on.
“He found my Facebook page Tea Jenny and sent me a lovely message. I have had such an amazing response from Paul being so kind and he is coming to our next big fundraising event in March – The RedHot Ball.”
Jenny started fundraising for the two charities after she was diagnosed with IBD and underwent three major operations.
Her annual ladies’ lunch ‘Tea Jenny’ generated a whopping £21,000 this year.
She was one of eight finalists to be recognised for their service to others in this year’s Teen Hero Awards, adding to her impressive list of prestigious accolades which include the British Citizen Youth Award 2017, Young Scot of the Year 2016 and Rotary International Young Citizen 2017.
A beaming Jenny said she spoke to William and Kate for five minutes about her incredible journey so far.
“I was quite nervous waiting for them to come into the room but they were so lovely and really interested in hearing my story,” she said.
“I told them I was very proud to be a young ambassador for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and the Catherine McEwan Foundation.
“They were very impressed with how much money I have raised so far.
“Prince William asked if having Inflammatory Bowel Disease was quite uncommon and I said it can be known as quite an invisible illness and that’s why I am passionate about raising awareness for it. He said I was very brave and it was fantastic that I was brave enough to share my story and help other children.”
They were so lovely and really interested in hearing my story... Jenny Cook
Kind cabbie Londoner Paul Renn was humbled by superhero Jenny. Main pic courtesy of Sarah Jeynes/BBC