Ruff and Ruby
1798. Dawnie Reynolds
Dawnie Reynolds, from Stoke-on-Trent, is a youth worker who founded ‘Ruff and Ruby’, an organisation supporting hundreds of young people in the city who face challenges in school by offering a safe space for them to build confidence and learn new skills.
Dedicated to engaging with young people in disadvantaged contexts, Dawnie set up the charity in 2010, and has built strong connections across the city with local council and MPs, media, housing associations, football clubs, Staffordshire police and Keele University to help deliver a range of programmes that empower young people, including life coaching and workshops that help facilitate opportunity and purpose. Over the last year, Dawnie has worked with all three Stoke-on-Trent MPs and 38 other charities to found the ‘SOT Youth Collective’ – a series of youth hubs across the city providing additional support for young people, focusing on developing generous leadership and enhancing youth voice.
In a personal letter to Dawnie, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to hear about your brilliant work at ‘Ruff and Ruby’ to support young people in Stoke-on-Trent, helping them to reach their potential.
“Through your multiplicity of programmes on offer, you are giving vulnerable young people access to support which builds their self-esteem and improves mental wellbeing.”
“I was so excited and honoured to be nominated by the Prime Minister for the Points of Light Award. Making a difference and living ‘on purpose’ is what I get up for in the morning. The best gift you can have in life is to leave a legacy in a young person’s life – thank you to all my friends, family and amazing team who support us here at ‘Ruff & Ruby’.”
Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said:
“I’m delighted to offer my warmest congratulations to Dawnie for achieving the Point of Light award, which recognises the fantastic work she has undertaken for young people in Stoke-on-Trent.
“Dawnie is a force of nature whose passion for helping young people locally has inspired and united many organisations across the city to work collectively. She thoroughly deserves this prestigious award and the huge thanks of the wider community and young people whose prospects she has changed for the better.”