Surrey Hills Saviour
54. Christine Howard
Christine Howard is part of a team of volunteers who set up the Surrey Hills Society six years ago to help people access and enjoy beautiful surroundings.
The Surrey Hills Society is an independent charity which promotes the enjoyment and protection of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for locals and visitors alike. The Society encourages people to explore and learn about the area’s unique qualities while taking care of their surroundings.
Christine has managed to achieve this solely as a volunteer, channelling her drive and passion for Surrey Hills. The Society has even caught the attention of big businesses, with Toyota and Kier as current proud sponsors.
Alongside the society, resourceful Christine has also assisted in the setting up of Surrey Hills Enterprises Community Interest Company, a ‘not for profit’ organisation where businesses trading in the area benefit from shared branding, affiliation and access to the 700 members of the Surrey Hills Society. One of the biggest successes for the Enterprise has been the annual Surrey Hills Wood Fair which last year hosted 110 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees, continuing to raise funds and the profile for the area.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Christine has shown tremendous passion for her local area, galvanising others to work with her in her mission to preserve Surrey Hills as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I’m delighted to recognise Christine’s service by making her a Point of Light.”
Anne Milton MP said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that Christine has received this award. I know she has been driven not only by her passion for the countryside but also her determination that others should be able to enjoy the Surrey Hills to the full. Christine has given so much time and energy – she is a fantastic example of what so many volunteers add to our lives every day!”
“I am thrilled to have the work of the Surrey Hills Society recognised by this award. While I am very honoured to be receiving this award, I know everyone of my 30 or so key volunteers deserves this award for the hours and hours they spend serving the Society with me”