734. Nicola Dawes
Nicola Dawes, from Reigate, founded ‘Stripey Stork’ in 2013 after struggling to find a good home for baby items which her family no longer needed.
She realised that there was a need in the community for these items, but that it was difficult for local support agencies to fulfil this need. In response, Nicola set up ‘Stripey Stork’ to collect second-hand baby and children’s items such as prams, books and highchairs, and to distribute them to families in need.
Working with local professionals, Nicola and her team of volunteers receive 30 requests a week and have helped over 2,000 families. The charity runs additional programmes at Christmas and Mother’s Day which distribute gifts to families who otherwise may not receive any.
In a personal letter to Nicola, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By finding a home for second-hand baby items that are no longer needed, ‘Stripey Stork’ is providing a vital service to the community and families in need. Together with the programmes you run throughout the year, you are bringing happiness and comfort to thousands of families.”
“Seeing ‘Stripey Stork’ develop and have a positive impact on those in need has been so rewarding, and it is great to see a spotlight put on what we have achieved through this Points of Light award. Our team take great pride in the quality of items we pass on and we want the recipients to feel like they are receiving a gift and not a handout. In four years we have responded to 3,000 requests for help and rehomed over £1m of items. Thank you to all those who support us – a kind-hearted community of givers who are changing the lives of others through the simple act of recycling.”