Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.
Peter and Tracey Rogers, from East London, have brought together over 100 volunteers to coordinate ‘Highams Park Food Aid’, delivering over 27,000 meals to vulnerable people in Chingford during the pandemic.
Peter and Tracey set up ‘Highams Park Food Aid’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 after identifying an urgent and growing need for support in their community in the north of the borough, and decided to tap into their community networks to help drive backing for the project. ‘Highams Park Hub’, as it is now known, started off delivering food parcels to people shielding at home and has since evolved into a more traditional food bank model, reaching more people in need and enabling beneficiaries to collect their provisions from The Hub. Over 100 volunteers support the mission to ensure no one goes hungry by collecting donations, sorting and creating the parcels. Over the Christmas period, volunteers created food hampers and gift boxes from the generous donations provided by the local community in Highams Park and Chingford. The project has grown due to need and the generosity of the community, and currently supports over 195 families weekly through the Hub, two satellite hubs and provides food to a further three foodbanks around the borough. The Hub is currently expanding its provision to include professional financial advice for those in difficulty and providing other services such as mental health support, youth and family services and a drop-in café (which will open when restrictions allow) for the local community.
In a personal letter to Peter and Tracey, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“By setting up ‘Highams Park Food Aid’, you have both made an outstanding contribution to your community during the pandemic.
“You and your 90 strong volunteer army have delivered over 27,000 meals to vulnerable people in Chingford, as well as distributed gifts and treats over the Christmas period.”
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said:
“This award is recognition of the very best of human care and compassion. Tracey and Peter have been shining examples of such heartfelt community service during this pandemic to the benefit of so many in need. This is a well-deserved recognition of their work coordinating ‘Highams Park Food Aid’. Thanks to their tireless efforts it has grown from a small initiative supporting a handful of families to an approved Food Bank that has delivered over 27,000 individual meals. The Hub has become the centre of the community under Tracey and Peter’s leadership and they are spoken of with gratitude both by those in need and their volunteers. I am enormously pleased that the Prime Minister has now recognised their outstanding contribution to our lives.”
Peter and Tracey said:
“We are humbled and delighted to accept these awards on behalf of our volunteers. The Hub started with just us delivering to five families after church on Easter Sunday. We could not have achieved what we have without our incredibly skilled volunteers and the amazing support from our local community who have been so generous.
“The Hub has always been a project by the community for the community and long may it continue to be so.”