87-year-old charity marathoner Iva Barr given Point of Light award

Iva Barr running her 19th London Marathon in 2015

Charity marathoner Iva Barr from Bedfordshire has received an accolade from Prime Minister David Cameron in recognition of her incredible charity work.

The Point of Light award recognises outstanding individuals who make a change in their community and inspire others through voluntary work and fundraising.

The oldest female runner at the 2015 London Marathon, Iva has completed nearly 30 marathons since she took up running at the age of 55. Having raised more than £10,000 for charity over the past 30 years, she is undoubtedly a worthy recipient.

An avid runner, in 2011 Iva took part in the Forces March, running 5 marathons in 5 days and recently completed her 19th London Marathon for Whizz-Kids, a charity that transforms the lives of disabled children.

A volunteer at Bedford Day Care Hospice for the past 20 years, Iva was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012 in recognition of her charitable work. As a member of the Bedford Harriers Athletics Club, she plans to keep on running until she reaches 90.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, ‘Few people dream of running one marathon let alone more than 20, especially in their seventies and eighties. The charities Iva has raised thousands of pounds for have been cheering her on every step of the way and when Iva finally hangs up her trainers she can be immensely proud of what she has achieved. Iva is an inspiration to us all and I am delighted to make her the UK’s 299th Point of Light.’

The Points of Light award was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.

‘I am dumbfounded and it’s so exciting to receive this award,' said Iva. 'It’s great raising money for Whizz-Kids because you really get to see where the money goes and what a difference it makes to young people’s live.’

MP for Bedford and Kempston Richard Fuller said, ‘Iva Barr is an inspiration whose commitment, enthusiasm and British pluck put many of us who are younger to shame. Iva is a worthy recipient of this award and I hope her example will motivate many others.’