959. Josefa MacIsaac
Josefa MacIsaac, from Colchester, has drawn on her own experiences to provide support to homeless people in Colchester for over 30 years.
Born to homeless parents in Tangiers, Morocco, Josefa came to the UK in her teens and, despite a period of homelessness, found work and gained support from a local convent. Josefa established her own community centre called ‘Josie’s Kitchen’ in 2003. The kitchen opens twice a week to offer food, clothing and support for people to get back on their feet.
Josefa received her award from Will Quince MP in a surprise presentation (pictured below):
In a personal letter to Josefa, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The assistance you have provided to homeless people in Colchester over three decades is a testament to your remarkable commitment to helping some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Will Quince, MP for Colchester, said:
“One person sleeping rough on our streets is one too many. Josefa’s work helping homeless people in Colchester makes such a difference to some of the most vulnerable in our community, and so I am delighted that her extraordinary work has been recognised with this Points of Light award.”
“I am overwhelmed, this is a lovely surprise. I don’t do this for recognition, it’s always been about the people and my community.
“The homeless in Colchester are like my family and I will continue to do what I can to help and give something back.
“I am not doing this for prizes, I’m doing it off my own back, for my people.”