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Pembrokeshire Care, Share and Give

1985. Amanda Absalom-Lowe

Amanda Absalom-Lowe, from Pembrokeshire, has run a county-wide recycling scheme over the past decade which has collected thousands of clothes and household items every year for local charities and community groups.

Amanda Absalom-Lowe

Amanda started ‘Pembrokeshire Care, Share and Give’ in 2011 as a way of giving back to her community after her daughter Megan (pictured beside her) was born premature and successfully underwent open heart surgery. Through the charity, Amanda encourages households across the county and surrounding areas to be more sustainable and build a circular economy, where peoples’ pre-loved but unused items could support causes such as school community projects, animal sanctuaries, or providing packs for army personnel being deployed away from home. Since then, Amanda’s charity saw its work significantly expand during the pandemic, branching out to collaborate with local businesses on reducing food waste. Amanda has also established a ‘Rainbow Packs’ programme, a charitable scheme that supports emergency care with toiletries and necessities.

In a personal letter to Amanda, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I want to thank you for the work you do collecting and recycling thousands of items of clothing, shoes and toys.

“For more than a decade, your initiative ‘Pembrokeshire Care, Share and Give’ has helped people to support local causes – from animal sanctuaries and school community projects to local charities. During the pandemic you also worked with local business to help reduce food waste.”

Stephen Crabb, Amanda’s local MP, said:

“I am delighted that Amanda Absalom Lowe has been recognised for her work at ‘Pembrokeshire Care, Share and Give’, as the 1985th winner of the Points of Light award.

“This excellent local charity, which Amanda runs, has supported food banks and recycled unwanted household items into funds for local charities, and has been assisting people to recycle, reuse and donate, helping those in need in Pembrokeshire since 2009.

 “This is a wonderful example of the positive impact people can have in their local community, and in inspiring others – Amanda is a much-deserved winner of this prestigious award.”

Amanda said:

“I am completely shocked to receive another award for our fundraising recycling scheme and COVID-19 response, especially from the Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, Points of Light award! None of it would be possible without our hardworking volunteers. My husband Mark and I started fundraising as a thanks to the amazing NHS staff for saving our daughter Megan’s life when she was born six weeks premature and underwent open heart surgery at the age of eight months in 2011.

“The ‘Pembrokeshire Care Share and Give’ charity grew through lots of will power, sometimes against the odds, as I rallied our local community of households, businesses and schools to think carefully before throwing anything away. This has raised well over £30,000 to date, making a huge difference and positive contribution to our planet, environment and sustainability over the 12 years within Pembrokeshire that I have been volunteering.

“COVID-19 changed our fundraising and we moved on to saving food waste from local supermarkets and businesses to help fight hunger and tackle food waste while other charities closed through lockdowns. We also donated and provided members of the public with lovely food hampers, hot and cold meals to our homeless, veterans, local businesses and charities, and the local NHS Hospitals with our Personal Care Emergency Rainbow Packs. I thank the community and our volunteers for their continued support.

“We continue our collaboration with many other amazing groups and charities in our county and carry on working quietly to try and save as much recycling and waste as possible, and continue to care, share and give to help others.”

Pictured: Amanda with her daughter Megan

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

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