Prime Minister awards outstanding Leicestershire volunteers

Emeritus Professor Clive Ruggles from the University of Leicester and Dr Sue Hills are recognised for raising awareness of stalking and coercive control

The Prime Minister has recognised Professor Clive Ruggles, Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester and his wife Dr Sue Hills, from Tur Langton, for raising awareness of stalking and coercive control.

Clive and Sue founded the Alice Ruggles Trust following the death of their daughter Alice, aged 24, at the hands of her obsessive ex-boyfriend.

The Trust raises awareness of stalking, coercive control and domestic abuse through education and teaching.

Clive and Sue have worked with the Crown Prosecution Service, the Police, and the Home Office to improve how stalking is recorded through the National Crime Registrar and have campaigned for the Stalking Protection Bill.

They have taken part in professional training events across the UK, involving the police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and probation officers and they have also been involved in numerous documentaries, interviews and reports to share Alice’s story and raise awareness about coercive control and legal measures.

Clive and Sue are one of the latest recipients of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

They were presented with their awards by their local MP Neil O’Brien OBE at the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday 12 December).

In a personal letter to the couple, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The loss of your daughter, Alice, at such a young age and in such devastating circumstances is beyond comprehension.

“By creating The Alice Ruggles Trust, you have responded to this personal tragedy with incredible strength and determination.

“Your ongoing work is invaluable in raising awareness of stalking and abuse and it will help countless victims.

“I wish you every success as you continue to grow this essential work in memory of Alice.”

Neil O’Brien OBE, MP for Harborough, Oadby and Wigston, said: “Sue and Clive have shown incredible courage and fortitude.

“It was a pleasure recently to speak in favour of and pass the Stalking Protection Bill.

“But there is much more to do and the work of the Trust is extremely important.”

Clive and Sue said: “We are hugely grateful to receive this award, which gives us a real boost in our efforts to help prevent what happened to Alice happening to others.

“There is so much to do both to raise public awareness of the dangers of coercive control and stalking, particularly among young people, and to ensure that the authorities react in the right way when cases come to their attention.

“We can't imagine that we could have achieved anything like as much to date without the fantastic support of everyone who has been working with us on behalf of The Alice Ruggles Trust, as well as many remarkable colleagues in related charities.

“It is wonderful to know that the Prime Minister gives her personal support to what we are doing.”

Clive and Sue are the 1,072nd and 1,073rd winners of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA.

Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.

There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

The Points of Light awards honour shining examples of volunteering across the UK.