902. Jaki Bent
Jaki Bent, from Devon, launched the UK’s first free interactive map for charities and community projects, making it as easy to connect to local support online as it is to find a hotel or restaurant on Google Maps.
Jaki sold her house and gave up her job to dedicate herself to establishing ‘If Everyone Cares’ and ‘Ododow.org’ in 2012. Over 650 projects from across the UK are now listed on Jaki’s map, which enables projects to create their own profiles, share resources and collaborate with larger organisations. Jaki was named on the 2016 ‘UK Digital Leaders 100’ list for the potential social impact of her online map, and is currently actively working towards collaborating with more than 400 local authorities to expand the project.
Jaki received her award from her MP, Anne Marie Morris (pictured below).
In a personal letter to Jaki, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You have shown tremendous innovation in launching the UK’s first interactive community map which is having a transformational effect for people looking to access support in their local area. Your commitment to making it so easy for people and services to connect is truly remarkable and I wish you every success with expanding your digital project further.”
Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, said:
“It is my absolute pleasure to present Jaki with this Points of Light Award on behalf of the Prime Minister. Jaki is proof that if you believe in something passionately enough, you can implement change and make a difference. Her commitment to providing a valuable service within our community, bringing together charities and local projects through a central hub will enable so many people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.”
“Receiving this award is a genuine honour. When I heard the news the first thing I thought of was the wonderful small team of dedicated volunteers that have worked with me to make ‘Ododow.org’ happen. This award is for them as well – it really does take teamwork to make the dream work.
“I took a gamble a few years ago and sold my home to work on this project. I have met too many people who struggle to find help and I saw how that had negatively impacted their life. I’m passionate about creating a resource where, with a few clicks of a button, anyone can find the help and support that is available to them based on their location and need. It is about using technology for good and making our ‘Hidden Emergency Service’ visible – We say “Empowering Individuals and Connecting Communities One Click at a Time”.
“It has always seemed crazy to us that it is often easier for people to find a hotel or restaurant on Google Maps, and then make an informed decision, than it is to find the amazing charities, community projects and organisations that either provide vital help and support, an opportunity for people to volunteer or connect to their community.
“‘Ododow.org’ is an online map where they can create their own profile, tell the story of who they help, how they help, the difference they make and what help they need along with the basics like how to contact them, when they are open and where they are. In time this will become a resource for everyone, no matter if they are someone who needs help, wants to help, or maybe wants to connect, share, collaborate and reduce duplication.
“By working together we really can create connected communities.
“As a last PS – If anyone knows of a company or individual that would like to sponsor or support us – we would love to hear from you – Thank you in advance.”
See Jaki’s response to receiving her award:
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now