1773. Bianca Sakol
Bianca Sakol, from Hertfordshire, set up ‘Sebby’s Corner’ in January 2021 to provide support for young families in need across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and various London boroughs, delivering over 5,000 nappies, 1,200 items of clothing and hundreds of other items every month.
Bianca founded the initiative, which is named in memory of her older brother Sebby, when she struggled to find somewhere to donate the clothes her children had outgrown and decided to take over a corner in a local foodbank. After receiving a wave of donations from family, friends and members of the local community, Bianca had already outgrown her space in the foodbank after several months and had fundraised enough money to rent space of their own and scale up their charitable work, with support from hundreds of volunteers. Bianca’s initiative has also been vital in distributing clothes and essential items to 3,000 Afghan refugee families in the South East, where she has worked alongside other charitable partners and initiatives, including relief efforts run by fellow Point of Light Rabbi Feldman, to deliver supplies.
In a personal letter to Bianca, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Congratulations on the fantastic work you have done in supporting families across the South East of England and welcoming resettled Afghan refugees into your community.
“Your initiative ‘Sebby’s Corner’ is a wonderful tribute to your late brother, Sebby. From delivering over 5,000 nappies and over 1,200 items of clothing, you are giving the Afghan people coming to our country a helping hand to start their new lives.
“You exemplify the very best of our country and the Afghan people who have come to your community will never forget what you have done to welcome them.”
Oliver Dowden, Bianca’s local MP for Hertsmere, said:
“I am delighted that Bianca Sakol has been awarded the prestigious Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister for her work setting up Borehamwood charity ‘Sebby’s Corner’. Bianca and ‘Sebby’s Corner’ have supported young families in need across Hertfordshire and beyond by delivering over 5,000 nappies, 1,200 items of clothing and much more every month.
“Bianca’s recent work supporting Rabbi Feldman, of Bushey United Synagogue, in organising a donation drive for displaced Afghan families who fled to the UK is exemplary. This award is extremely well deserved.”
“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award. When I started ‘Sebby’s Corner’, we were a tiny corner of a foodbank giving out clothes to a few families a week. In nine months we have grown to help hundreds of families with a huge range of essential items, as well as supporting thousands of newly arrived Afghan refugees. When we began, we had no idea the scale of the poverty in our communities – certainly made worse by COVID-19 – and we will continue to work to ensure no child goes without the basic essentials so many of us take for granted. It has been humbling to see the wonderful support and donations we have received from the community and our supporters and I am grateful to every single person who has helped us on our journey these past 9 months. I would like to dedicate this award to the Power Team and my wonderful husband without whom this would all have been impossible.”