Caitlin Walker, 16, from Sheppey, a young volunteer from Youth Resilience UK, who has been supporting the elderly in her community throughout the pandemic, has been awarded this year’s National Lottery Young Hero Award.
Kent Community Foundation has recently supported Youth Resilience UK with emergency pandemic grants totalling £7,500 and was delighted to learn that one of their young volunteers, who had been acting in the spirit of their 2020 Knock and Check campaign, had won this prestigious award.
Caitlin who has autism, OCD and severe anxiety, has had a very difficult time having lost her beloved Nan and having her father in hospital for a month following a car accident. During the pandemic, Caitlin has been making face masks and nurses bags for the local community, doing shopping for her neighbours who were shielding, as well as posting her contact details through her neighbours doors so that she could be called upon to help if required.
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “We were delighted to hear that Caitlin had been recognised with this prestigious award for helping her neighbours during the pandemic. We recently launched a campaign called Knock and Check to ease loneliness and isolation and Caitlin embodies exactly what we are trying to encourage throughout the county, small acts of kindness to support your elderly neighbours during this difficult time.”
Kelly Walker, Director, Youth Resilience UK CIC, said “Without emergency funding from Kent Community Foundation we would certainly have struggled to support young people, including Caitlin, in the way we need to. It is fantastic to see how Caitlin has developed and she is a very deserving winner of the National Lottery Young Hero Award and I know she would be over the moon to think that other young people as well as adults might follow her example and give some of their time to help others.”
Caitlin Walker, National Lottery Young Hero Award Winner, said, “It’s a scary time and I just wanted to do what I could to help as many people as possible during the pandemic. I am really enjoying helping my local community and I would encourage others to be kind and help those around you, as you feel ten times better for it.”
To see Caitlin’s video visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5hX-l1yauA&t=1s
To find out more about the Knock and Check campaign please visit www.kentcf.org.uk/knckandcheck
About Youth Resilience UK CIC
Youth Resilience UK recognise the need to support young people and those working with young people as the face the pressures of modern families, social media, diverse cultures, lack of services and funding. All these issues have the potential to continue to shift the way Youth Resilience support the development of this and future generations. Young people have more choice, a greater voice, access to an instant world at their fingertips, but many of the most challenging young people have fewer skills at their disposal to help them navigate this new territory.
About Kent Community Foundation
Kent Community Foundation is one of 46 accredited local Community Foundations across the UK. Since 2001, Kent Community Foundation has distributed over £40 million in grants and provides financial support to hundreds of charities and deserving causes throughout Kent and Medway.
Community Foundations are local champions, connecting people and organisations that want to improve their communities. They invest in local people and organisations tackling some of the biggest issues facing communities today and supporting some of society’s most disadvantaged people. They provide help and advice to those who want to give at the heart of their communities, both now and in the long-term, by matching donors to important local causes.
To provide support to charities, Kent Community Foundation helps individuals, families and businesses, establish and administer their own charitable funds to support the local causes that mean the most to them and where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.