Anne Diamond awarded OBE for campaign work to prevent cot death - ‘It hasn’t sunk in!’

She joined forces The Lullaby Trust, and the Department of Health, to launch the successful Back to Sleep campaign in 1991

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GB News’ Anne Diamond has been awarded an OBE for her campaign work to prevent cot death as part of King Charles’ first New Years Honours list.

The Breakfast presenter and her then husband Mike Hollingsworth lost their son Sebastian after he died from sudden infant death syndrome, commonly called cot death.

She joined forces with the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), now known as The Lullaby Trust, and the Department of Health, to launch the successful Back to Sleep campaign in 1991

It warned parents that babies should sleep on their backs not their fronts, and has been credited with a reduction in deaths.

In the 1980s, The Lullaby Trust said around 2 per 1,000 live births ended with cot death.

In 2015 in England and Wales, there were 0.27 unexplained infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

This meant there was a reduction of more than 2,000 deaths between 1980 and 2010.

Diamond was also awarded a college medal by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health for her work on the campaign.

On Breakfast, Anne reflected on the significance of the award, she said: “I had to ring up the Cabinet Office a couple of times just to make sure it wasn't a scam, because I honestly thought it might be. And I got through to a lovely lady in the Cabinet Office who said, ‘no, it's definitely you, it's definitely you!’

“She said, ‘Just to prove it, I'll read out all your details’ and she read me out everything on her computer from my date of birth to everything. And she said, ‘you are going to accept it, aren't you?’

“And I said, ‘bloody right. I am, yes!’ I was absolutely convinced it was a scam, so I couldn't believe it until, about 24 hours ago, when people in various newsrooms started to ring me up and say congratulations, and I thought ‘I think it must be true!’”

Diamond was also awarded a college medal by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health for her work on the campaign.
Diamond was also awarded a college medal by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health for her work on the campaign.

She later continued: “It hasn't sunk in. It really hasn't. I don't feel any different. Why would you? And it all happened a very long time ago. But I tell you what, it is thrilling. I mean, I loved the Queen, but it is very thrilling to be part of the King's first New Year's Honours, isn't it? It's quite something. I'm really pleased.”

Stephen Dixon joined Anne to discuss the monumental achievement, he said: “I'm just so pleased for you, because, of all the work that you've done and the career that you've had.”

Anne has also worked with other charities like Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, the National Obesity Forum, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, a national charity empowering limbless military personnel since after the First World War.