Kenilworth volunteer Molly given award by Boris Johnson after delivering 2,500 meals to elderly residents during lockdown

Lockdown hero Molly Bufton-Stear from Kenilworth has recevied an award from Boris Johnson for her service to people in the town.

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 12:33 pm

The Points of Light award, handed out by the Prime Minister’s office, is given to individuals who are making a change in their community.

Since the start of lockdown in March, Molly has served over 45 elderly Kenilworth residents in her community with fresh, homemade meals.

After volunteering overseas in Zanzibar, Tanzania last year with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) through the government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) scheme, Molly was keen to use the skills she developed to her the most vulnerable in her community in Kenilworth.

Molly Bufton-Stear with her Points of Light award

In recognition of the award Molly said: “I am so grateful for the recognition and to be receiving this amazing award! I am so thankful to the volunteers that are continuing the ‘Molly’s Meals’ service, and for everyone who has supported it along the way.

"I know there are so many people doing amazing things and I hope this community spirit continues on into the future.”

Responding to Molly’s community work and her placement overseas with VSO in Zanzibar, the Prime Minister said: “I wanted to thank you for your fantastic achievement in raising an army of local volunteers to deliver over a thousand meals to people in need.

He added: “I was particularly interested to learn of your time volunteering in Zanzibar and your reflections on the strength of communities coming together and helping one another.

Molly Bufton-Stear set up her Molly's Meals service to help elderly residents in Kenilworth during lockdown.

“Through ‘Molly’s Meals’ you have channelled that spirit with a kindness and fellowship that has defined the very best of our country through this difficult period.”

Molly set up her initiative, Molly's Meals, shortly before lockdown was announced.

Working initially with her boyfriend before other volunteers joined her appeal, she raised more than £3,000 to help keep the service running throughout lockdown, receiving free produce from farms and supermarkets.

She said: “When people in the UK first started self-isolating due to Covid-19, I immediately worried about those within our society that were already isolated and vulnerable and would therefore be affected the most by the changes coming.”

She added: “I decided that a fresh hot meal per day would not only help with the food poverty facing many elderly people, but also give them something positive to look forward to each day.

"“That’s how Mollys Meals started. I sent out a post on my social media pages stating that I was going to cook and deliver a home cooked meal every day to any elderly or vulnerable residents within my town that would like this service, and appealed for people to reach out if they knew of anyone who might need this but not see my service online.”

Felicity Morgan, Director of ICS, said: “It’s really inspiring to hear about the fantastic work Molly is doing to help the most vulnerable in her community during the pandemic. Her award from the Prime Minister is truly deserving of all the hard work she has put in to make a continued difference to those being left behind under lockdown.

“We’re incredibly proud of volunteers like Molly who use the skills they have developed on placements abroad to help those closer to home.

"Her story is like many other ICS volunteers who are working together to change the world around them, at home and abroad.”

To find out more about ICS or to apply, visit www.volunteerics.org