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Winning The Points Of Light Award

27 Jun 2018

The joy of volunteering-Being awarded the Points Of Light award by 10 Downing Street

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Last week was quite a week for me! I love being busy and inspired but I had to pinch myself that such amazing things were happening to me!

I went to the House of Lords to talk about small charities working overseas, met Annie Lennox at a charity party for The Circle and won an award from the Prime Minster!

A bit of background to begin with

You might not be aware but as well as founding Blossom & Berry, I am also a co founder of the charity Love Support Unite. I started working with the charity as a volunteer sharing my infant massage training in orphanages but I soon realised that the work that Love Support Unite was doing was so incredible I had to be a part of it. Alongside Blossom & Berry, I began to volunteer my time and raise money for mother and baby related projects. It was not long before Nina and Alice, the founders of Love Supoort Unite realised that I was in completely in love with them and their work in Malawi and that I was here to stay and support them for the long term. Loyalty and intergrity are two of my highest values and I wanted to commit my time to the charity in a way that it could rely upon so it would make a lasting impact.

I continued to volunteer and took a small paid fundraising role. I worked long hours outside my paid role as LSU became part of my life, my love and my heart. Volunteering took over and gave me such joy and connection. I have never worked so hard as I did in the last four years for LSU whilst balancing Blossom & Berry and my family. Every moment I seemed to be thinking of how I could help make more of an impact and support Nina and Alice. My belief in them and our projects was so strong and passionate. LSU became part of family life with all of us helping, whether it was walking across hot coals in a sponsored firewalk, baking cakes or my daughter coming out to Malawi with me when she was only 15. I found the more I shared the story of the charity and the beneficiaries, the more connections came. The most wonderful people came into my life as volunteers, donors and friends.

All Love Support Unite’s projects are delivering life changing projects in Malawi from education to nutrition to health care. The projects are all linked providing a 360 model for elevating communities out of poverty. Projects are sustainable and community led. The key concept being to give communites “a leg up” and not “a hand out”. We use our fundraisising product Love Specs (which are magical sunglasses that create love hearts everywhere there is light) to raise funds for our projects and to connect everyone who donates. You can find out more here

The Points Of Light award

The Prime Minister’s daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making positive changes in their communities. The UK award was set up in partnership with the US Points of Light Foundation, which was established over 25 years ago and has since recognised over 6,000 inspiring volunteers in the US. I was completely honoured to be the UK’s 933rd Point of Light.

I really cannot express the joy you receive by giving your time to help others. It gives you purpose, direction and a sense of connection like no other. I think everyone should have the opportunity, whether it is locally helping someone with the weekly shop or going to help overseas. The amount of time is not always the most important but the consistency and commitment is what makes the real difference. When people believe in people, magic happens. I have felt it in my own life.

If you might like to volunteer for Love Support Unite do get in touch or we also have our Love Creates Love groups which enable you to set up a voluntary group to support new parents in your community. There is the perfect opportunity waiting for you right now. Seek and you will find. Give and you will recieve.

Much Love

Gayle

xx

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