Banburyshire Citizen Project
1555. Andy Willis
Andy Willis, from Banbury, set up the ‘Banburyshire Citizen Project’ in 2016, which runs an Advice Centre that has provided vital support to local residents throughout the pandemic.
Andy, who has over 13 years of experience as a volunteer advisor, raised over £60,000 to set up the charity to offer support that is otherwise not readily available in the local area. Andy’s Advice Centre runs its own telephone service which this year has been vital in offering advice to people on issues such as being furloughed, made redundant and accessing benefits. The Centre also offers help with form-filling, career counselling, and education course information. Andy has also raised over £20,000 for the ‘Workers’ Educational Association’, and has been involved in campaigning on disability issues for ‘Leonard Cheshire’, ‘Alzheimer’s Society’, ‘MIND’, ‘Age UK’, ‘Independent Age’, and ‘Change.org’.
In a personal letter to Andy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I want to thank you for your fantastic work at the ‘Banburyshire Advice Centre’.
“Over the last four years, you have created a community hub giving advice and support to people, particularly those with mental health difficulties. Your work through the pandemic, from providing legal counsel to skills and education advice, is more important than ever.”
“I am greatly honoured that the Prime Minister has recognized my work in the community, particularly during the Covid Crisis. Thank you for the award. It is a privilege to be a Point of Light.”