154. Jennifer Drewer (Essex)
A mum of three from Essex has brought together over 700 young people with and without disabilities on equal terms to learn new skills and have fun.
Jennifer joined the Southend Junior Phab club at the age of 14, as part of her volunteering commitment for the Duke of Edinburgh award. The club exists to enable young people with and without disabilities aged 7 to 16 to take part in a range of activities in an environment dedicated to equality. Twenty two years later, Jennifer is now Chair of the club, continuing to support children’s development far beyond the commitment she made as a young adult.
As part of her dedication to the Phab Club, Jennifer teaches young people a whole host of new skills including cookery, music, arts and crafts and animation in her weekly sessions. She also takes the members on bowling trips and arranges an annual adventure weekend focusing on team building activities like sports and raft building. On average, 30 young people attend her sessions every week.
Jennifer also noticed the local community was lacking in opportunities to help adults with disabilities and learning needs build their confidence in a professional environment. To combat this, she set up the Phab Shop with the help and support of her husband, which aims to raise funds for the Junior Phab Club and allow adult volunteers to gain working experience, training and confidence in the retail field.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“The Southend Junior Phab Club creates a fantastic inclusive environment for children with and without disabilities to come together on equal terms to learn skills and have fun. Jennifer’s remarkable dedication to the club has seen her help 700 children and support the club’s future through the Phab shop. I’m delighted to name Jennifer a Point of Light.”
“I was overwhelmed when I found out that I had been awarded the Point of Light and surprised that I had been nominated. To get the recognition for the club and the shop is amazing. I have a fantastic team around me who work hard giving up their time without whom the club and shop would not be possible. I love and enjoy the work we do and I am thankful to be recognised by the Point of Light scheme.”
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now