Children with Voices
2054. Michelle Dornelly
Michelle Dornelly, from London, is a mum of four who founded ‘Children with Voices’ in 2010, offering free youth programmes to children from disadvantaged backgrounds in East London, including after school clubs and SEN mentoring.
Michelle started the initiative to ensure that her children and those from her local area had equal access to available opportunities. She set about creating a safe, nurturing environment that is dedicated to learning and allows children of all ages to build skills in cooking and growing food, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles through sport.
In 2020, in response to the pandemic, Michelle launched an additional initiative, ‘Hackney Community Food Hub’, which has supported over 100,000 people. Michelle often stores the donations in her own home and is looking to secure a permanent building to enable the organisation to reach more people.
The award for Michelle comes at the beginning of Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the contribution that millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities.
“I received the news while I was away taking the much-needed vacation that I was awarded by the pride of Britain.
I remember reading it out to my daughter & seeing her face light up, it was priceless, then it dawned on me that all the struggles I face in running this charity have led me to this point.
It means that I am doing something right, I am making a difference & that’s the message we teach & share to encourage our young people that they too can make a positive difference
Thank you from me but also from our volunteers”.
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