P&G winners’ stories: Heather Howie

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  • In November P&G, the Proud Sponsor of Mums, launched the Champion Mums’ Foundation: A campaign offering hardworking mums the chance to be awarded a bursary from a whopping £150,000 pot. The only stipulation was that the award had to be used towards making a positive difference to the winners’ lives as mums, to their family or to the community.

    Here Heather tells us what winning the prize meant to her…

    When four-year-old Dylan dislocated his elbow, his mum Heather was at her wits’ end. She couldn’t drive, there were no buses and her GP was over 20 miles away.

    Heather lives with her partner and two sons in a remote part of South Uist, an island of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.

    ‘It was a traumatic day,’ she remembers. ‘Dylan was in a lot of pain and I knew I had to do something. I called the doctor who explained over the phone how to push Dylan’s elbow back into place.

    ‘It was painful for us both, but my little boy was hurting so much and I was the only one there. So I did it.’

    ‘South Uist is a beautiful place to live and bring up children,’ says Heather. But it’s also challenging – especially when you don’t have a car.

    ‘Our nearest shop is about 20 miles away,’ she says. ‘Dylan gets the school bus but if we miss it we’re stumped.

    ‘The public buses are OK, there’s usually one every two hours. But it could be early – or late – so there’s a lot of waiting around.’

    The harsh weather often means that Heather and the kids are stuck in the house. ‘We get winds that blow me off my feet, never mind Sean, who’s only 3. And the rain comes at you horizontally. If you haven’t got a car there’s no getting out really.’

    Heather has always wanted to learn to drive, but could never afford it. Then, in the essentials newsletter, she saw that the P&G Champion Mums’ Foundation was awarding bursaries to help mums, their families or the community, and decided to apply.

    The judges saw straight away how driving lessons would change her family’s life, and they awarded Heather a block of lessons .

    ‘When I found out I couldn’t stop smiling,’ she says. ‘The boys can get involved with after-school clubs, and I can visit friends and get to work on my own!

    ‘Thank you essentials and thank you P&G. I could not have done this without you.’

    Behind the prize

    P&G has been around for 170 years, and is the company behind household products that help mums do a great job, like Ariel, Eukanuba and Lenor. Now, as the Proud Sponsor of Mums, it’s helping in other ways to say thank you for all the things mums do. Find out more at thankyoumum.pg.com