Pauline Receives No 10´s Accolade - National award from PM for community champion
On behalf of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Steve Double, MP for St Austell, presents Pauline Giles, founder of St Blazey Recycle, Reuse and Resale, her ‘Points of Light’ award
10th March 2021
By Natasha Swift
A volunteer from St Blazey who has made it her mission to help residents across Cornwall by diverting unwanted household items destined for the dump to people in need has been recognised by the Prime Minister.
Pauline Giles, who is the founder of ‘St Blazey Recycle, Reuse and Resale CIC’ - a platform for distributing unwanted toys, furniture and clothes to vulnerable people - has received a 'Points of Light' award from Boris Johnson for her outstanding contribution to the community.
Pauline set up the initiative in 2018, collecting good-quality household items that would otherwise go to waste in landfill, and gifting these to families in crisis or people who are homeless.
She has been continuing to offer support throughout the pandemic, including posting weekly quizzes and children's cookery classes online to support her local community.
In a personal letter to Pauline, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It was fantastic to hear about ‘St Blazey Recycle Reuse and Resale’ helping local people in need with household items helping local people in need with household items.
“From furniture, to toys and clothes, you have saved waste from going to landfill while doing a wonderfully practical thing for families.
“Let me also thank you for the quizzes and cookery lessons you have organised during the pandemic. You are a true Point of Light in your community and I am delighted to recognise you as the UK’s 1616th Point of Light.”
A Facebook plea to Pauline’s followers in December 2017 to help eight families in crisis led to Pauline opening the doors of St Blazey Recycle, Reuse and Resale six months later.
The Community Interest Company was set up by Pauline to help deprived residents in her area.
After the success of helping the families before Christmas, people asked Pauline how they could keep it going.
Pauline’s partner, David Taylor, was working at the HWRC and saw the household items, which could be reused, being crushed on a daily basis.
The pair came up with an idea of how they could change that for the better of the community and just three days before Christmas 2017, Pauline contacted the CEO of Suez, who ran the HWRC, telling him they needed to talk.
Suez agreed that she could become the recipient of all the good household items to help turn her vision into a reality.
Pauline’s award coincided with St Piran’s Day, the day of celebration for Cornwall.
Pauline said: “I am honoured to be made the 1616th awardee of the Points of Light Award, especially on St Piran’s Day – Cornwall’s saint’s day and day of cultural celebration. But like most things, it takes the dedication of a good team. My heartfelt thanks to the volunteers of St Blazey Recycle and my wingman in everything Dave, who gets dragged into all sorts and never complains.
“Bringing a little joy to others and letting them know that someone cares is within all our grasp, and I sincerely thank all those who have come forward and helped me both before and during the pandemic.
“Helping furnish properties for the homeless and families in crisis and continuing that support by helping out with food parcels has helped give people a much needed leg up. I have tried to reach all generations to lift spirits, be it the weekly online lockdown quiz, or the children’s online cookery classes on a Saturday morning.
“Having the chance to make a difference to someone’s day is heartwarming. The utter pride on the children’s faces when they share the pictures of their cooking achievements is infectious. It spreads throughout the community and is witnessed in the wonderful comments from one and all, a true delight to see their improvement as the weeks go by.
“Soon we will be working with clay, to celebrate our local heritage, and potting up seeds, which the children will be able to nurture and grow, showing them the circle of growth to plate.
“The residents of St Blazey mean a great deal to me, I want our lovely town to grow and prosper and for its residents to feel a part of our lovely community. Sometimes it just takes someone to start the ball rolling for others to get involved, it’s how a community grows. I look forward to the lifting of lockdown when we can all get together and have a good old knees up.
“The pandemic has allowed this hectic world of ours to slow down so that we might share a wealth of knowledge to others, enlightening their lives.
“Meur ras from a very humbled but grateful recipient.”
Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, said: “It is very fitting that Pauline Giles, a Cornishwoman who contributes so much to her community has been given this Points of Light Award by our Prime Minister on St Piran’s Day.
“This award is well-deserved recognition for Pauline’s amazing hard work for her community both in the past four years but especially so for her efforts during the pandemic where Pauline has really gone above and beyond to support some of the most vulnerable people. She has really made a difference for those who need it the most in St Blazey.”