The Points of Light award recognises outstanding individuals – people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
The following people were given a Points of Light award in March 2015 (the numbering continues from February’s winners):
Jan, a vicar from Cardiff, has set up a thriving community music group for children. The group, Making Music Changing Lives, gives local children from primary schools the chance to learn a musical instrument. Jan has brought together many volunteers, including students and teachers from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and professional musicians, to teach over 70 children in her church hall each week.
Trish founded the charity Unchosen to raise public awareness of human trafficking through films and campaigns. Trish believes passionately that film can bring the human stories behind trafficking and exploitation to wide audiences. Under her leadership, Unchosen works closely with local authorities, non-governmental organisations and community volunteers.
Ras has helped to transform the London music scene by volunteering with Sofar Sounds. This organisation puts on live gigs in unique places, giving local artists somewhere to hone their performance skills. A number of award-winning bands, including Bastille, Hozier and Stornoway, all began their careers with Sofar Sounds.
Sebastian has created London’s smallest library inside a disused phone box. Sebastian bought the iconic red K2 British phone box for £1 as part of a BT scheme. He spent £500 of his own money on extra lights in the ceiling, laid carpet and opened it up to the public. The library has 7 shelves and houses over 200 books from fiction and reference, with a whole shelf dedicated to children’s books. It is looked after by 2 librarians.
In July 2011, 18-year-old Danielle was diagnosed with a brain tumour which also caused hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Since then she has been a committed fundraiser for The Brain Tumour Charity, raising over £100,000. Danielle is receiving her award on Bandanas for Brain Tumours Day when thousands of people across the country wear a bandana to show their support during Brain Tumour Awareness Month.
Lucy and Rachael are the founders of the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association, also known as Footprints. Lucy and Rachel are both mothers to children with Down’s Syndrome and set up Footprints to provide friendship, advice and specialist services for families. The charity offers training to schools and teachers and provides tailored education to support children with Down’s Syndrome. Over 800 professionals have attended training sessions and the association has helped more than 150 families so far.
Retired teacher Bill has spent 24 years inspiring thousands of young people from more than 40 schools in Powys to get involved in orienteering through the Mid Wales Orienteering Club.
Clive is a retired teacher who runs ‘Older & Out’, a unique Age Concern Central Lancashire project for older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. As well as offering one-on-one support, the project plays a crucial role in raising awareness of LGBT needs among care providers across the region.
Retired nurse Jen founded an archive project to chronicle the history of women in jazz. Jen started Jazz Heritage Wales in 1986 and the archive is now housed by the University of Wales Trinity St. David.
Eighty-three-year-old Ron is a roller skating volunteer who has spent nearly 50 years coaching skaters to international standards. After 20 years as a roller dancer, Ron began coaching and judging in 1967, travelling the country in his free time to develop the sport and support its young talent. Ron has acted as President of the Federation of Artistic Roller Skating and of the European governing body of Artistic Roller Skating. He also pioneered a special fund to provide financial support to British roller dancers competing abroad.
Alan, a 77-year-old retired taxi driver, helped to develop HenPower – a project that gives care home residents the opportunity to care for and hatch chickens. The project reduces loneliness and depression, and staff in dementia care settings have reported a reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication. Alan is actively involved in regular ‘hen roadshows’, where residents take their chickens to other care homes and primary schools and are visited in turn by pupils.
Harriette, a fourth-year medical student at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, has created Project Play. This sees 47 student doctors regularly visit The Royal London Hospital paediatric wards to socialise with patients – playing games and helping them to relax and chat. Project Play is popular with young patients who receive visitors and has also helped student doctors develop their patient communication skills.
Gordon, 29, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in May 2014. Faced with a disease that kills half its sufferers within 14 months, Gordon was determined to use his remaining time to improve conditions for people with MND across Scotland. As a result of Gordon’s Fightback campaign, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon agreed in January to pay MND nurses from the public purse and double the number of MND specialist nurses. Gordon has also raised over £220,000 for MND research and has become a trustee for MND Scotland.
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