Portland Flood Volunteer Given Top Award
9:33am 9th April 2014
A flood volunteer from Portland says being the first to win an award from the Prime Minister came as a massive "shock."
Storm Wallace rallied the island's residents for a series of huge beach cleans on Chesil after it was battered by high tides and stormy weather back in February.
She's been given the "Points of Light Award" by Prime Minster David Cameron at Downing Street, the first award of its kind handed out by the British Government.
It recognises the efforts of inspirational volunteers in the community.
29-year-old Storm told us the Points of Light award was first introduced stateside in the US by former President George H W Bush, who even retweeted a picture of her and the PM at Downing Street;
"When they brought this American guy in to meet us and explain how big these awards are, they go worldwide, it really did shock me then, I did think oh no this has really got out of control now. But it's great for us here - on Portland - we'll get what we need in the future and have great points of contact."
Although she doesn't have a fancy hat or shiny badge, Storm proudly has a certificate and hand written letter from the Prime Minister thanking her for her volunteer efforts, and she hopes her success will inspire others too;
"We have little awards through communities here in the UK but we don't have a countrywide one, so it's something that David Cameron decided to do after the efforts during the floods. Since the efforts of the floods there's nothing really to award people with, so hopefully it's going to make other people think they can do little things in their communities and it could possibly take them as far as we can. So it might influence people in their area, hopefully."
Former US President George H W Bush who pioneered the award, said in statement;
"I applaud the leadership Prime Minister David Cameron has shown in developing volunteering, philanthropy, service and social enterprise in recent years. I also commend the commitment of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and all party leaders to work together to advance voluntary service across the United Kingdom."