National volunteer award for Hélène-Marie
The best thing about working at Dot Dot Dot is getting to know the inspirational guardians who do outstanding voluntary work. Each week they dedicate hours to charitable projects across the city, delivering vital support and skills and, unlike minor celebrities, their actions rarely receive national attention. Last week, however, that changed when the Prime Minister named guardian Hélène-Marie one of the country’s outstanding volunteers by awarding her a Points of Light prize.
The Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers − people who are making a change in their community. We put Hélène-Marie and several other guardians forward for the award in recognition of their enthusiastic volunteering since joining us as guardians.
Hélène-Marie has quite the collection of commitments and we awarded her our own Guardian Spotlight award back in January of this year. She volunteers with 19 Princelet Street, Europe’s first museum of immigration and diversity. She also helps at The Arbour, a community centre in Tower Hamlets, as a Social Inclusion Mentor, supporting a young migrant woman to develop her English language skills, confidence and practical life skills.
And she set up a new initiative called LondonSOUP, a community dinner and micro-funding project which aims to bring Londoners together to share a meal and raise funds for small, community-led projects in and for the city.
Local press was just as impressed with Hélène-Marie’s achievement and there was some lovely coverage in East End Life and the The East London Advertiser (pictured), not to mention plenty of retweets and well-wishers across social media.
The award comes at a rather bittersweet time as Hélène-Marie hung up her property guardian boots last week. We’re very sad to see a superb guardian leave us but feel her time with us has been fittingly marked with a national award. Farewell Hélène-Marie, keep up the good work.
Cover Image: Hélène Irving by © Troy Bailey
Top Image: 19 Princelet Street volunteers from left to right: Santosh Stride, Anup Patel, Nada Holland, Hélène Irving, Philip Black. © Peter Marlow / Magnum Photos / 19 Princelet Street