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Hartwell Community Champion

1480. Kieran Gray

Kieran Gray, from Northamptonshire, leads ‘Hartwell Community Centre’ and has been running weekly food parcel donations to vulnerable older residents throughout the pandemic.

Kieran Gray

At the start of the outbreak, Kieran set up an emergency food bank from scratch, as well as a free food surplus scheme for people who were self-isolating, helping to reduce transmission of the virus and combat waste in the community at the same time. Kieran also hosted a series of activities for local children unable to go to school to help keep them active and entertained, such as gardening clubs and a communal painting project.

In a personal letter to Kieran, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I wanted to write to you personally to thank you for your service to others by making you a Point of Light.

“Through your leadership of Hartwell Community Centre, you have provided vital support for your local area throughout this pandemic. You have organised weekly food parcel deliveries to vulnerable older residents, and hosted a variety of engaging activities for local children. People like you are the beating heart of Britain.”

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, said:

“Kieran has provided a lifeline of support for vulnerable older individuals and those self-isolating during the pandemic, ensuring that they received basic supplies and were not lonely during such a challenging time. I am delighted that he is a recipient of the Points of Light Award – the 1480th – and congratulate him on the excellent work and support he has provided the community of Hartwell.”

Kieran said:

“Receiving this award from the Prime Minister and recognition on a national level has left me speechless, but also exceptionally proud of what was achieved in a short period of time.

“When lockdown started it became apparent that vulnerable households and school children would be significantly affected and I wanted to find a way to support them in the best way I could. The food parcel project was quickly established to help vulnerable households reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19 by removing their need to visit shops. The children’s projects were similarly set up to supplement their home learning with fun and educational activities which they could do with their families, but also with friends via social media.

“I’m pleased that the activities have proved useful for the local community. It goes to show what a community can collectively achieve when they pull together in a time of need!

“I’m both thrilled and honoured to be recognised as the UK’s 1480th Point of Light. Thank you.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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