The Pop in Place

849Alison Bennett (Bere Regis)

Alison Bennett has run the ‘The Pop In Place’, a local community hub of social action, for over 20 years.

Set up in 1996, the community café was ahead of its time for combating the isolation experienced by young mothers and the elderly in rural settings. Alison also produces twice yearly performances at the café, including pantomimes and musicals, directing amateur actors of all ages. She has also raised over £84,000 through the hub, as well as a personal campaign to raise £100,000 for ‘Alzheimer’s UK’ over the past 5 years.

Michael Tomlinson (pictured right), the Conservative MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, presented Alison with her award at a surprise presentation at the ‘Pop in Place’ today, alongside Councillor Peter Wharf (pictured left), Alison’s local district and county councillor. Alison accepted her award on behalf of the whole community she had brought together through the project.

In a personal letter to Alison, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“The success of the ‘Pop in Place’ community hub is a testament to your commitment to bringing people together, and your ability to inspire people to engage in social action. Through an entertaining programme of fundraising
events, you have given support to various local charities and achieved your own personal goal of raising £100,000 for ‘Alzheimer’s UK.’ You should feel very proud of dedicating over twenty years of innovative volunteering to the
community project, which has been ahead of its time in providing support to young mothers and the elderly.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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