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Points of Light: January 2015 winners

The Points of Light award recognises outstanding individuals - people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The following people were given a Points of Light award in January 2015 (the numbering continues from December’s winners):

189. Dr Na’eem Ahmed (London)

Dr Na’eem Ahmed is a medical doctor who has long enjoyed using his medical training as a volunteer. As a student he set up a network of undergraduate doctors to act as ambassadors for public health education programmes across London, before creating opportunities for medical students to volunteer in Bangladesh. He also set up the Selfless website which allows people to register their professional skills and be matched to volunteering opportunities – a concept he calls ‘skillanthropy’.

190. Steve Rich (Folkestone)

Steve runs one of the UK’s largest walking football clubs, The Folkestone Wanderers, helping older people to carry on playing the beautiful game. Steve set up the UK’s first 50+ walking football national tournament, involving 18 teams from across the country. He is also on the FA steering group looking at how to take the game forward.

191. Martin Baines (Bradford)

Martin, a retired police inspector, led a team of volunteers to reopen the old Bradford police station, cells and courts as a museum. He spent over a year working full time to raise funds, source exhibits and liaise with the local council and police authority. The museum opened in August 2014. It provides a unique insight into the history of policing and criminal justice in Bradford from the early 19th century onwards.

192. Dr Jill Moss (Milton Keynes)

Retired teacher Jill set up the UK’s largest charity for children and young people with ME or chronic fatigue syndrome. She founded the Association of Young People with ME or AYME in 1996, after suffering with the disease herself for 4 years. Since then, the charity has helped more than 9,000 young people living with the condition.

193. Anthony Okereafor (London)

23-year-old Anthony was inspired by the murder of a childhood friend to set up a basketball club that tackles knife crime. ‘Carry a Basketball, Not a Blade’ meets on Friday evenings, giving young people a safe space where they can have fun. Over 100 11- to 18-year-olds attend sessions, and Anthony has also worked with more than 86 schools and colleges in Newham and east London.

194. Charlie Scott (Newcastle)

Charlie, a delivery driver, founded Newcastle’s East End Football Club in 1995. The club now has 520 players, 32 teams, including 1 for players with disabilities, and a volunteer staff of 62. He has also overseen the club’s charity work, raising tens of thousands of pounds for local good causes. In 2004 Newcastle East End Football Club became an FA Charter Standard Community Club – an accolade given to clubs that provide a high quality football experience. Now Vice Chair, Charlie visits the grounds daily to support the teams.

195. Joshua Jackson (West Midlands)

Nine-year-old Joshua is a committed fundraiser, despite currently enduring his second battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He has raised more than £30,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where he is being treated. He sells ‘Joshua Battling Cancer’ wristbands and designs key rings, toys and bracelets.

196. Pete Chapman (Cheshire)

Pete organises the UK’s largest charity Christmas tree recycling collection, with all proceeds going to the East Cheshire Hospice. This year Pete is leading a team of 300 volunteers to collect and recycle an expected 6,000 trees, with support from local businesses and Cheshire East Council.

197. Richard Spindler (Weston-super-Mare)

This year Richard will mark an incredible 50 years’ service with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. As a volunteer he has helped save hundreds of lives, specialising as a crew member trained to swim off the boat in especially treacherous rescues. He has now retired from manning the boat due to age restrictions, but continues to fundraise and run local education projects.

198. David Feindouno (Plymouth)

David, who fled his native Guinea after a brutal attack, settled in the UK in 2008. He founded Plymouth Hope Football Club to unite communities and promote integration, running football-related activities including an adult team and programmes for under-18s and under-14s. The club proved so popular that David went on to found the Plymouth Hope charity, which offers mentoring, community events and training programmes.

199. Jeremiah Emmanuel (London)

In 2013 Jeremiah founded One Big Community (1BC) at the social justice charity Cambridge House to tackle youth violence. The project now has a dedicated team of young people aged 15 to 25. It also works with more than 40 local and national youth organisations, including National Citizen Service provider The Challenge, London Youth and the British Youth Council. Together they help to run campaigns that give young Londoners opportunities to directly engage with decision makers.

200. Dr Amy Hughes (Gloucestershire)

Dr Amy Hughes has volunteered in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone with UK-Med, a national organisation coordinating NHS volunteers. Amy led the first wave of UK volunteers in November 2014. She ensured that medics were trained to provide the best possible care to those suffering with the disease, while staying as safe as possible. Amy has recently returned to Sierra Leone.

201. Alan Fish (Ashton-under-Lyne)

Alan set up a local group to renovate the overgrown King George V Playing Fields in Ashton-under-Lyne. Since then, he has helped make the originally run-down area into a community hub, including a new cafe, fitness trails, a bee hive and an orchard. The area is now home to several local football teams and is a space for regular open air events.

202. Tania Bearsley (London)

Tania is originally from Wellington, New Zealand and has lived in the UK for 10 years. She is president of the New Zealand Society UK, which promotes our 2 countries’ cultural and historic links. Last year Tania organised 19 events for British-based Kiwis to network and celebrate their heritage, including an event commemorating New Zealanders who died in the First World War. She also raised £20,000 for causes that strengthen relations between the UK and New Zealand.

203. Saeed Atcha (Bolton)

Teenager Saeed created Xplode Magazine to promote a positive image of young people and help them to develop work skills. The magazine has a readership of over 23,000 and is now a registered charity run entirely by young people. Saeed has also formed partnerships with businesses, including ASDA, Domino’s Pizza and Cineworld Cinemas, to give CV tips, advice and work experience opportunities.

204. Sam Stephens (London)

Social entrepreneur Sam created, an innovative website that lets people share useful items and valuable skills. Once users have registered on Streetbank, they can post items and skills they want to share or give away, or request things that they need. It has nearly 60,000 users and has expanded into 81 countries. Since the site was launched in 2010 goods and skills worth over £1.5 million have been traded.

205 and 206: Ndubuisi Uchea and Hayel Wartemberg (London)

Ndubuisi Uchea and Hayel Wartemberg created Word on the Curb, a platform for young people to voice their opinions on topical issues through poetry and spoken word. Word on the Curb has 2,880 subscribers, with a poetry post to celebrate Black History Month generating 1 million views worldwide.

207. Moira Priestley (Dumfries)

Social worker Moira has brought together more than 200 volunteers to create the world’s biggest Burns Night celebration. She is head volunteer at the Big Burns Supper – a 9-day music, theatre and comedy festival in Dumfries celebrating the best of Scottish culture. Twenty thousand people are expected to attend.

208. Scott Saunders (Barnet)

Scott runs the March of the Living UK educational programme. Hundreds of young Jewish people from the UK join thousands of others from across the world marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau in remembrance of those murdered in the Holocaust. Each year Scott organises the trip and raises funds for more than 200 young people. He also tours university campuses to raise awareness of the programme.

209. Charles Richards (Cornwall)

Charles set up a flood group to help his local community of St Blazey be better prepared to protect their town. Charles worked closely with Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency to coordinate a network of volunteer flood wardens who provide support to the community before, during and after flooding and bad weather. He also set up the Cornwall Community Flood Forum, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Defra, to trial innovative community projects including flood safety training.

210. Lynn Ford (Stockton)

Lynn tragically lost her 22-year-old son in a chip pan fire in 2005. Determined that no parent should go through what she had, she has volunteered hundreds of hours with the Cleveland Fire Support Network, sharing her experiences and educating the local community about fire safety. So far Lynn has raised over £10,000 for the network. She compiled a poetry book in memory of her son and uses the proceeds to fund replacement chip pans for anyone wanting to get rid of their old-fashioned pan.

211. Sue Scott (Greater Manchester)

Sue opened the Angel Project Café in Middleton to support isolated people and those with mental health problems in her hometown. She renovated a rundown laundrette with a group of volunteers and now organises a number of café workshops, including support sessions for military veterans and their families. Volunteers at the café gain work experience and are supported with CV writing sessions and customer service training.

The next Points of Light award winners can be found on the February 2015 page. All of the winners can be found via the Points of Light collection page, which brings together all the monthly lists of winners.

Published 1 January 2015
Last updated 4 February 2015 + show all updates
  1. Added recipient 214: Marice Cumber.

  2. Added recipient 213: Caroline Shearer.

  3. Added recipient 212: Keely Hohmann.

  4. Added recipient 211: Sue Scott.

  5. Added recipient 210: Lynn Ford.

  6. Added recipient 209: Charles Richards

  7. Added recipient 208: Scott Saunders.

  8. Added recipient 207: Moira Priestley.

  9. Added recipients 205 and 206: Ndubuisi Uchea and Hayel Wartemberg.

  10. Added recipient 204: Sam Stephens.

  11. Added recipient 203: Saeed Atcha.

  12. Added recipient 202: Tania Bearsley.

  13. Added recipient 201: Alan Fish.

  14. Added recipient 200: Amy Hughes.

  15. Added recipient 199: Jeremiah Emmanuel.

  16. Added recipient 198: David Feindouno.

  17. Added recipient 197: Richard Spindler.

  18. Added recipient 196: Pete Chapman.

  19. Added recipient 195: Joshua Jackson.

  20. Added recipient 194: Charlie Scott

  21. Added recipient 193: Anthony Okereafor.

  22. Added recipient 192: Dr Jill Moss.

  23. Added recipient 191: Martin Baines.

  24. First published.