1597. Jonathan Greenwood
Jonathan Greenwood, from Wensleydale, is a social entrepreneur dedicated to improving wellbeing who is developing an app ‘Group Hug’ to create a space for individuals to talk informally with volunteers about their mental health concerns.
Due to launch in summer 2023, Jonathan has already established a range of volunteer networks tailored for people with different needs, such as people working in the farming community, Armed Forces veterans, people living with anxiety or menopause, and those living with cancer. In addition to the app, Jonathan has also run projects on the ground in his local Dales community, including delivering over 1,800 ‘Group Hug’ goodie bags to key workers and vulnerable households during lockdown in 2020 to help provide a boost to wellbeing.
In a personal letter to Jonathan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to hear about how you have used your software skills to develop the ‘Group Hug’ app. At a time when people are unable to hug their loved ones physically, it is wonderful that you are holding them together in the digital world.
“You have created a supportive space for individuals to talk informally with volunteers about their mental health concerns. It is more important than ever that people feel able to speak out and connect with others.
“On top of this, you have found time to deliver over 1,800 bags of treats to those in need and to those serving on the front line. You are a true Point of Light in your community!”
“It’s a privilege to head up a project like ‘Group Hug’ and encourage the support from many people via volunteering. To receive this award and become a Point of Light, it builds on the foundation of my aim to give light to many people by freeing their mind, whilst recognising the efforts required to produce such a project. I’m honoured and thank you Prime Minister, I look forward to sharing the launch of ‘Group Hug’ app later this year.”
Pictured below: NHS staff and fire crew with some of the goodie bags distributed by Jonathan, and some of the many happy recipients who have benefited from Group Hug initiatives