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Points of Light: October 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 October 2014 (the numbering continues from September’s winners):

122. Mark Heath (Cambridgeshire)

Mark Heath is a broadband champion from Cambridgeshire. He has encouraged more than 90% of his local community to support a campaign to secure superfast broadband for Spaldwick. His campaigning has led to more than 40% of households upgrading to superfast broadband within weeks of the launch in his area.

123. Mogue Lawless (Milton Keynes)

Mogue Lawless is a 21-year-old student from Queen’s University, Belfast. Mogue has drawn on his personal experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to raise awareness of mental health problems amongst more than 2,000 young people.

124. Rachely Plancey (London)

Rachely Plancey started Camp Simcha, which supports families with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses, from her kitchen table in Golders Green aged just 17. Last year alone Rachely’s charity made 2,000 volunteer visits to children, 3,000 calls to parents and provided almost 1,000 hospital transports across the UK.

125. Phil Reddall (Northamptonshire)

Phil Reddall started volunteering for the RNIB’s Talking Books service in 1986. Since then he has spent hundreds of hours making sure that partially sighted and blind people have access to a huge range of subjects and authors.

126. Christine Rich (Dudley)

Christine Rich from Dudley is Secretary of Friends of Priory Park. She runs the Wednesday Walkers Club which sees 60 older people meet every Wednesday lunchtime to exercise and socialise together. The oldest member is 89 and the group calculate that by January they will have walked 1,000 miles together.

127. Fifi Kara (London)

Fifi Kara is a 20-year-old Londoner who has inspired 250 young people to get involved in politics by launching Model Westminster. The organisation launched just last year but is already thriving and working with a number of government departments, the Parliamentary Outreach Service and the Digital Democracy Commission.

128. Tessa Somerville (London)

Tessa Somerville volunteers with Friends of the Elderly’s Phoning Friends Service. Since 2007 she has spent more than 400 hours calling 30 isolated, elderly people every month.

129. Tim McKenna (Leicestershire)

Tim is a pub landlord who bravely volunteered to tell the story of his experiences with mental illness as part of Time to Change. As one of the faces and voices of Time to Change, he has helped the campaign reach almost 40 million people.

130. Marie Bairner (Stourbridge)

Marie is a professional beautician who volunteers at the Hope Centre in Halesowen, helping women who have been made homeless, are unemployed or struggling with mental health difficulties. Marie provides free aromatherapy massages for women at the centre and raised her own funds to create a fully equipped beauty room for treatments.

131. Emma Hall (Hampshire)

Emma is a mother and full-time carer from Fleet. She has helped more than 100 families across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey by co-founding Stepping Stones DS, a support group for children with Down’s Syndrome and their parents.

132. Janneke de Jong (London)

Janneke volunteers with young women and girls at risk of violent crime on the Dollis Valley Estate in North London. She runs weekly sessions of the Dollis Dolls Nail Bar with 40 women and girls, combining all the teamwork of running the nail bar with mentoring and support into further education, employment and training.

133. Darren Dresser (Sunderland)

18-year-old Darren was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 5. Two years ago, he began volunteering at the Blue Watch Youth Centre, a youth project that had supported him in the past. So far he has given more than 800 hours to the centre, acting as a mentor to younger people and running workshops. Darren credits volunteering with giving him the confidence to go to college to gain qualifications in maths and English.

134. Betty Lowe (Salford)

Betty Lowe has devoted 95 years of her life to the Girl Guides movement and does a good deed every day. Now 106, Betty joined the Guides in 1919, acting as a guiding leader for many years. She has volunteered at the RVS café at Salford Royal Hospital for the last 40 years and continues to make tea for patients there every week.

135. Anne-Marie Imafidon (London)

25 year old Anne-Marie set up STEMettes after finding that she was 1 of only 3 women in a class of 70 studying maths and computer science at Oxford University. STEMettes introduces students to successful women in careers related to maths, computing and science through panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring schemes. So far it has encouraged over 900 women to consider a career in the sciences.

136. Lynden Jackson (Debenham)

After caring for his late mother who had dementia, Lynden set up The Debenham Project to turn his home town and surrounding area into a Dementia Friendly Community. The project now has 100 volunteers, and runs services to help people with dementia and their carers live a better quality of life. These services include emergency care support, lunch clubs and social sessions.

137. Jenny Wong (Manchester)

Jenny Wong has volunteered with Chinese schools in Manchester since 1976. She set up the Weekend School at the Manchester Chinese Centre in 2005, helping thousands of young people stay connected to their culture. Jenny is also a volunteer at the Manchester Chinese Archive project, which tells the story of the Chinese community in Greater Manchester.

138 & 139. Richard Elam and Mark Reynolds (York)

Richard and Mark run a construction firm in York. Each year they set themselves a ‘Big Community Challenge’, bringing together builders, tradesmen and volunteers to transform part of their local area. Previous projects include turning an unused school field into an outdoor classroom and community garden, and renovating an adventure playground. This year they are creating a garden for older York residents, including those with dementia.

140. Jeff Towns (Swansea)

Jeff Towns has promoted the literary achievements of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas for 25 years. As chair of the Dylan Thomas Society, he has been instrumental in setting up The Dylathon on 26 to 27 October 2014. This will feature all of Thomas’s poetry read out over 36 hours at the Swansea Theatre, with well-known performers such as Michael Sheen, Sir Ian McKellen and Katherine Jenkins.

141. Claire Worden (Cornwall)

Claire Worden is the Chair of Council at the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs. After her father attempted suicide, she began to realise that there was very little mental health support for people in rural communities. Claire was inspired to launch the Rural+ campaign to help support young people who may feel socially excluded because they live in rural areas.

142. Daniel Bridgewater (Birmingham)

Daniel is a 23 year old marketing consultant who uses drama and performance to raise awareness of social issues. He founded social enterprise Fourth Wall in 2012 to help aspiring arts entrepreneurs create their own community theatre or arts-based enterprise. So far he has worked with more than 1,000 young people aged between 5 and 25.

143. Fiona Musgrove (Hertfordshire)

Fiona Musgrove, a blind woman from Hertfordshire, has established a successful tennis club for people with sight loss and children with special needs. Fiona lost her sight just before her 21st birthday after contracting Stephen Johnson Syndrome. Last year she and a friend founded vision4growth, a charity aimed at creating opportunities for people with sight loss.

144. Melissa Moody (Southampton)

Whilst caring for 4 of her own family members, 17 year old Melissa Moody helps thousands of young carers receive more support as a ‘Young Carer in Focus’ volunteer. Melissa also achieved 17 GCSEs over a period of 2 years with the support of her school. Through her experience she helps others, educating over 400 teachers in Southampton in the last 18 months and encouraging other young carers to share their stories. Melissa recently helped launch a new ‘Young Carers in Schools’ programme that provides practical resources to support young carers and their families.

145. Oladimeji Adisa (Liverpool)

Oladimeji Adisa founded the Osun Foundation in the 1990s to teach people about African culture. Over the years Oladimeji has attracted hundreds of volunteers to run arts and cultural activities. These range from African cookery and music to ethnic literacy and mask making, and have reached an estimated 10,000 people. Oladimeji has taken workshops to pupils in 500 schools around the UK.

The next Points of Light award winners can be found on the November 2014 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 October 2014
Last updated 3 November 2014 + show all updates
  1. Added recipient 146: Michael Anderson
  2. Added recipient 145: Oladimeji Adisa
  3. Added recipient 144: Melissa Moody.
  4. Added recipient 143: Fiona Musgrove.
  5. Added recipient 142: Daniel Bridgewater.
  6. Added recipient 141: Claire Worden
  7. Added recipient 140: Jeff Towns
  8. Added recipients 138 and 139: Richard Elam and Mark Reynolds.
  9. Added recipient 137: Jenny Wong
  10. Added recipient 136: Lynden Jackson
  11. Added recipient 135: Anne-Marie Imafidon.
  12. Added recipient 134: Betty Lowe
  13. Added recipient 133: Darren Dresser.
  14. Added recipient 132: Janneke de Jong
  15. Added recipient 131: Emma Hall
  16. Added recipient 130: Marie Bairner
  17. Added recipient 129: Tim McKenna.
  18. Added recipient 128: Tessa Somerville.
  19. Added recipient 127: Fifi Kara.
  20. Added recipient 126: Christine Rich.
  21. Added recipient 125: Phil Reddall.
  22. Added recipient 124: Rachely Plancey.
  23. Added recipient 123: Mogue Lawless.
  24. First published.