Christine Howard, who was part of a team of volunteers who set up the Surrey Hills Society six years ago to help people access and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, is the latest recipient of a Points of Light Award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
The Surrey Hills Society is an independent charity which promotes the enjoyment and protection of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for those local to, or visiting, the area. The Society encourages people to explore and learn about the area’s unique qualities while taking care of their surroundings.
Alongside the society, resourceful Christine has also assisted in the setting up of Surrey Hills Enterprises CIC, a “not for profit” company where businesses trading in the area benefit from shared branding, affiliation and access to the 700 members of the Surrey Hills Society. One of the biggest successes for the Enterprise has been the annual Surrey Hills Wood Fair which last year hosted 110 exhibitors and 4000 attendees, continuing to raise funds and the profile for the area.
Christine has managed to achieve all this solely as a volunteer channelling her drive and passion for Surrey Hills.
The new award has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA, which has recognised over 5,000 people. The US programme was established by President George H. W. Bush, and both he and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award will honour shining examples of volunteering across the UK.