1609. Liz Kavanagh
Liz Kavanagh, from Winchester, has built a community network through her Winchester Magazine’s 9,000-strong Facebook following, which has been vital in coordinating support for vulnerable people throughout the pandemic.
Liz set up the magazine in 2015 as a way of helping to champion community voices. Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, she has coordinated requests from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital for COVID-19 patients and NHS staff, providing donated items such freezers for ice packs, radios and other items to support their welfare. She has also overseen the delivery of more than 600 gift bags for local carers, and giving hundreds of treats to key workers such as local bus drivers.
In a personal letter to Liz, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“One of the most uplifting aspects of the nation’s response to Coronavirus has been the wonderful way in which communities have come together to look out for each other.
“With your social media following of thousands of local people, you have organised doughnut deliveries for bus drivers and hundreds of gift bags for care workers. You are a true Point of Light in your community.”
Steve Brine, Liz’s local MP for Winchester, said:
“Many congratulations to Liz and the team for gaining this award. They’ve really put the work in as part of Winchester’s big society and will continue to do that I know.”
“I am thrilled that Winchester Magazine has been chosen as a Point of Light.
“Positive, community-building news reporting has never been more important than over the pandemic and I have been proud to have harnessed our large social media following into collectively doing some great things in the city.
“I believe that local media has a responsibility to proactively report news that will lift spirits and encourage people during difficult times and I will continue to do this through my magazine and social media. This award is not only for me, but also for all the people that have done their bit to respond to the many causes we have highlighted – particularly during the pandemic.”