Autism Berkshire’s chief executive officer, Jane Stanford-Beale, was yesterday named as the 2016 Local Charities Day recipient of a Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, in recognition of her work running the charity as a volunteer.
The award was presented to Jane by Rob Wilson MP, the Minister for Civil Society, when he visited our office, which is in his Reading East constituency, to mark the first Local Charities Day.
He met some of our service users, along with volunteers and supporters, trustees Ewan R Duncan and Sandra Stubbs, and Leslie Macdonald, one of the founders of the Berkshire Autistic Society in 1990, who is now chair of Reading Mencap.
Mr Wilson said: “Congratulations and thank you for everything you do, but also for all the work your volunteers and everybody from local charities do in the area as well.”
Jane said: “I’m honoured to receive a Points of Light Award. I feel it’s not just recognition for me, but for all the other volunteers and staff who contribute to the work of Autism Berkshire, helping people living with autism.”
One Points of Light Award winner is named each day by the Prime Minister to recognise outstanding volunteers who make a difference in their communities.
In a letter to Jane, Prime Minister Theresa May, who is the MP for Maidenhead, said: “Your remarkable commitment to Autism Berkshire is improving the lives of people with autism across the county. Under your leadership, the charity is providing much-needed activities for families, as well as supporting public bodies to improve the services they provide.
“The Points of Light Award is a small thank you on behalf of the whole country in recognition of your exceptional service.”
Local Charities Day is a new initiative, devised by Mr Wilson, to celebrate the work done by small charities and their volunteers throughout the country.
Speaking to Autism Berkshire service users, volunteers, supporter, trustees and staff before presenting the award to Jane, he said: “We’ve had a really great day and lots of charities have been involved.
“We’re going to continue that year after year and make it bigger and better, to make sure local charities can shout from the rooftops about the wonderful work that they all do.”
Click here for more pictures from the Minister’s visit.