Ben Thornbury, aged 15, from Wiltshire, set up ‘Malmesbury Coronavirus Advice and Support’, an online platform connecting 65 local volunteers to people in need throughout the pandemic.
Through the platform, Ben, with close support from his neighbour Julie Taylor and volunteers across the local area, offer a variety of services, including prescription collection, grocery shopping, dog walking and welfare checks via telephone. Prior to the outbreak, Ben has been active in supporting his community through regular litter picks and local clean-up campaigns.
In a personal letter to Ben, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“By creating ‘Malmesbury Coronavirus Advice and Support’ you have united your community in the service of the most vulnerable as we battle together to defeat Coronavirus.
“From collecting groceries and walking dogs to friendly phone calls that let people know they are not alone, you have inspired countless acts of kindness.
“You are a true Point of Light in your community and I am delighted to be able to recognise you in this way.”
James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, said:
“Ben Thornbury is a most remarkable and public-spirited young man. I first came across him when, without any prompting, he set off to clean up his town of Malmesbury.
“When Covid Lockdown struck, it occurred to Ben that there would be many vulnerable people around the town who would need help in their everyday lives. So he set up a “Coronavirus advice and support” website on top of his school work to help those in need.
“Ben is an outstanding example of community-minded volunteering, and I have every confidence in supporting the award of the Prime Minister’s daily Points of Light award programme.”
“I’m so thankful and honoured to hear I have received the Points of Light award. I have been volunteering for the last 4+ years in my town of Malmesbury, Wiltshire and I’m glad I could make a big difference to the community during this challenging time. And I will continue to volunteer my time to inspire others to do great things and to help others.”