|Cornish woman has just been named Juggler of the Year in the SHE magazine Inspiring Women awards, for meeting the challenges involved in caring for her seriously ill daughter, raising money to build a holiday haven and running a business.
Julie Libby is a florist, who lives in Cornwall with her husband, Nigel, and daughters, Ellie and Sophie. Ellie was born with a rare genetic condition and was not expected to live beyond her first birthday; she is now four but needs around-the-clock care. Nigel and Julie launched the Ellies Haven charity in November 2007 in a huge undertaking to build and run a holiday haven on the outskirts of Looe in Cornwall, for children and young people with life-threatening and long-term illnesses. The charity has received overwhelming support and more than £120,000 has been raised to date.
Julie was nominated for the award following an article in SHE magazine in May 2008, in which she explained what the family had experienced and how they had decided to make the most of each day with Ellie and build the haven so that her life would count for something special. Julie was presented with the award for Juggler of the Year by Denise Van Outen at a celebratory lunch at Claridges in London. The event was hosted by SHE's editor Sian Rees and attended by special guests and celebrities, including Dame Kelly Holmes and Harriet Harman.