Netball Development Trust

766. Monica Thandi (London)
767. Julie Smith (Leeds)

Monica Thandi, from London, and Julie Smith, from Leeds, have established The Netball Development Trust, which uses netball to unite rural communities and empower children.

The charity works mostly in Kenya and Uganda to harnesses the power of netball to bring people in rural communities together so that the charity’s partners can deliver important services such as distributing sanitary pads and leading educational classes on sexual and reproductive health. The Netball Development Trust has reached over 10,000 children and has raised over £100,000 to support their work.

In a personal letter to Monica and Julie, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through the Netball Trust, you are using sport to unite communities, empower children, and increase access to vital services and information. As a result of your dedicated volunteering and fundraising, you are having a positive impact on the lives of thousands of young people living in less developed countries.”

Monica said:

“I was totally surprised but extremely honoured to find out I had won the Points of Light award and was being recognised by the Prime Minister for the work we do in Africa and Asia.  I love that I get to share my passion for netball with so many less privileged girls and boys and through sport we are helping them to stay in school – sport is a universal language and  has the power to change the world.  I am so proud of our achievements and extremely grateful to my friends and colleagues around the world involved in the Netball Development Trust who work tirelessly  to help us tackle sexual and reproductive health issues and taboos. This award will truly help raise our charity profile and we are proud to share the platform with so many other selfless individuals.  Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life.”

Julie said:

“I am over the moon to be made a Point of Light, and totally gobsmacked; it’s such an honour. The Netball Development Trust means the world to me and to see the changes in the kids’ lives makes everything more than worth it.”

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

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