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Points of Light: May 2014 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 May 2014 (the numbering continues from April’s winners):

9. Amir Cheema (Bristol)

For the past 11 years, Amir Cheema has dedicated his spare time to helping young Muslims become part of the Scout movement, bringing together hundreds of young people from different faiths.

10. Mary Harvey (Birmingham)

Mary has for years been an important part of her local community. She is a member of the local Community Watch in Perry Common, Birmingham and set up a ‘Duckling Watch’ scheme - amassing an army of local children to become junior community wardens, tackling anti-social behaviour and helping local wildlife.

11. Ben Helfgott

Ben wins the award for his extensive volunteering, including chairing the ‘45 Aid Society for Holocaust Survivors for over 50 years and working for reconciliation between Poles and Jews.

12. Molly Pattison (Tiverton)

16-year-old Molly wins the award for saving her local BMX team. When she heard that the organisers were retiring, Molly was determined to keep the club running so she raised enough money to cover the running costs. The club is now full of young people enjoying an activity that wouldn’t be available if it wasn’t for Molly.

13. Margaret Armiger (Lincolnshire)

Margaret wins the award for her work, and that of her volunteer group the Friends of the Beck, who worked tirelessly to turn Bottesford Beck from an unsightly and heavily polluted stream into an area that is now being enjoyed by many in the local community.

14. Eric Bambridge (Norwich)

Eric wins the award for visiting vulnerable people for 20 years, using his inventions to help them in their daily routine. During his late wife’s illness for example, he devised and constructed gadgets to do things like helping her remove her cardigan.

16. Sean McNally (Northamptonshire)

Sean helped revive a local youth centre, the Keystone Centre, which was seriously neglected and temporarily closed in November 2011. By using his professional skills and donating his free time, Sean quickly became the linchpin of the whole project. The building has now been regenerated with Sean maintaining the heating system.

17. Harry Tinkler (Skelton-in-Cleveland)

After learning to cope with autism in his own family, Harry is receiving the award for his work setting up a group to support other children who have siblings with autism. Alongside his mother Ginny, Harry is the driving force behind the charity Action for Autism Families (AFAF).

18 & 19. Andrew Robinson and Elaine Stoneman (Oldham)

Andrew and Elaine have won the award for taking action after seeing there was a lack of support for families of children with additional needs and disabilities in their area. They established Parents of Oldham in Touch (POINT), and took over the running of Oldham’s parent forum from Oldham Council.

20. Jill Carter (Nottinghamshire)

Jill wins the award for setting up the Pulp Friction smoothie bar as an innovative social enterprise to support young adults with learning disabilities and help them develop work skills and independence.

21 & 22. Sabrina Richards and Helen Downing-Emms (Portsmouth)

Sabrina and Helen win the award for reviving the Hilsea Lido. They have worked tirelessly to get members of the community together to form a group so that they could transfer the lido from Portsmouth County Council over to the community. Over 6 years they have established the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust and part of the lido has now re-opened.

23. Reyaz Limalia (Gloucester)

Reyaz wins the award for stepping in to take over management of St James City Farm, after hearing it could face closure. Since then, the farm has gone from strength to strength and is now run by a group of committed volunteers; use of the farm has greatly increased and public donations are higher than ever before.

24. Matt Preece (London)

Matt wins the award after spending over 400 hours of his free time volunteering as a Special Inspector – keeping London revellers in Soho safe. For over a year Matt has spent nearly every Friday night leading a team of trained volunteers; keeping the streets safe and building links between the local community and the police.

25. Melanie Davies (South Wales)

A former Paralympian, Melanie wins the award for dedicating her life to helping people with illnesses and disabilities achieve their dreams. As well as setting up TREAT Trust Wales (Treatment, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Therapy) to improve the wellbeing of communities in South Wales, Melanie has written a book, ‘Never Say Die’ with all the proceeds going to help run TREAT.

26. Ian Morrison (Exeter)

Ian wins the award for his work as charity shop volunteer. Despite living with learning difficulties, autism and being severely sight impaired, he volunteers as much of his free time as he can to deliver excellent customer service for a visual impairment charity where he received care as a child. One of Ian’s customers was even so impressed that she gave £30,000 to the charity as a direct result of seeing his progress.

27. Ivan Hollingsworth (Newcastle)

Ivan has won the award for his fundraising efforts for the heart unit at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle. Ivan’s son Seb was born in 2009 with a congenital heart condition. As a result he needed 6 hours of open heart surgery at the hospital, while only 16 weeks old, in order to save his life. In gratitude, Ivan has taken fundraising to phenomenal levels, so far raising £343,000.

28. Jean Jolly (Aberdeenshire)

Jean wins the award for her 30 years of service to the gardens at the historic Castle Fraser. Jean not only helps tend the gardens, she has also found the time to organise bulb sales to raise funds for garden maintenance. During the colder months, she also volunteers in the archive room, helping to record the history of the garden.

29. Denise Whiffin (Essex)

Denise wins the award for creating her region’s first ever hospice service for 16 to 40 year olds. The J’s Hospice was set up in memory of Denise’s son, Jonathan, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 3. J’s Hospice provides nursing, respite and end of life care, advice, bereavement support, social care and activities.

30. Joely Colmer (Bournemouth)

Joely has won the award after supporting young people with disabilities while herself living with Asperger syndrome. Joely was able to create disability awareness events to inspire other young people and has designed the ‘Safe Places’ scheme, helping young disabled people feel safe and independent when in public. She works tirelessly to motivate other young people to overcome the negatives of their disabilities and focus on the positives.

31. Rahi Popat (Leicestershire)

Rahi wins the award for using his love of football to support local youngsters and unite his community. He has set up his own club, Hamilton Youth; almost 100 children aged between 5 and 15 attend training sessions. Rahi also gives up his free time to visit local primary schools to coach football, and has established a unique partnership between Hamilton Youth and Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

32. Jacquie Johnston-Lynch (Liverpool)

Jacquie wins the award for helping people overcome alcohol and drug addiction. In 2011 she opened a non-alcoholic bar, The Brink, as a welcoming place for people in recovery from addiction who were no longer able to go to traditional pubs and bars. Jacquie is also developing a new residential rehab centre for military veterans who return to the UK with addiction problems.

The next Points of Light award winners can be found on the June 2014 page; all of the winners can be found via the collections page which brings together all the monthly lists of winners.

Published 1 May 2014
Last updated 30 May 2014 + show all updates
  1. Added recipient number 32 - Jacquie Johnston-Lynch.

  2. Added recipient number 31 - Rahi Popat.

  3. Added recipient number 30 - Joely Colmer.

  4. Added recipient number 29 - Denise Whiffin.

  5. Added recipient number 28 - Jean Jolly.

  6. Added recipient number 27 - Ivan Hollingsworth

  7. Added recipient number 26 - Ian Morrison.

  8. Added recipient number 25 - Melanie Davies.

  9. Added recipient number 24 - Matt Preece.

  10. Added recipient number 23 - Reyaz Limalia.

  11. Added recipient number 20 - Jill Carter.

  12. Added recipient numbers 18 & 19 - Andrew Robinson and Elaine Stoneman.

  13. Added recipient number 17 - Harry Tinkler.

  14. Added recipient number 16 - Sean McNally.

  15. Adding Luke Lancaster as 15th winner.

  16. Adding Eric Bambridge

  17. Added winner #13: Margaret Armiger

  18. Adding 6 May entry

  19. Winner number 11 added - Ben Helfgott

  20. Added recipient number 10.

  21. First published.