293. Dominique Harrison-Bentzen
Dominique Harrison-Bentzen has raised nearly £50,000 for homeless people and championed the importance of making a difference in your community.
Dominique, a fashion sales executive was inspired after homeless man Robbie offered her £3 to get home after she lost her wallet and found herself stranded on a night out. She used social media and a crowd-funding web page to ask people to donate just £3 each, but her campaign went viral and £3 donations poured in from people in Preston and around the world raising over £45,000.
The amazing response she saw to her appeal inspired Dominique to keep looking for ways to support homeless people and other charities. She has spent a night sleeping out on the streets with friends to raise funds and goes into schools to speak to young people about homelessness. Most recently she won the Miss Preston title and has pledged to using her year’s reign to raise awareness and money for the causes she supports. The majority of the money Dominique has raised has been given to the Foxton Centre in Preston where it will be used to help cover the costs of getting homeless people into accommodation – including rent deposits and basic start-up costs such as utensils.
Dominique has spent the last six months contributing to a much wider debate about how individuals can help people one person at a time. She has used TV, radio and social media to encourage others to make a difference in their community by helping people one person at a time, in whatever way they can. Since the worldwide publicity of her actions, Dominique has also been invited to give motivational speeches at schools.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Dominique set out to repay one man’s kindness and ended up harnessing the kindness of thousands of people to change many more lives. I am delighted that she is continuing to champion good causes and I hope this Point of Light award can be a small way of recognising the difference that Dominique is making.”
“I am absolutely overwhelmed to receive such an honourable award and I feel privileged to be a part of it. When I originally decided to help Robbie, I never anticipated the amount of support I would not only receive locally, but from all over the world. It has been an incredible experience and I would like to thank every single person who has donated, shared or helped to spread such positive awareness for the homeless. Without their support, and without Robbie’s act of kindness, this would not have been possible.”