Why should this person win this award?
Amy is an amazing, community-focused, passionate individual who did that rarest of things – saw a problem that affected the entire community, and made real personal sacrifice to do something about it.
Amy has been community volunteering since arriving in Bristol in 2010, but she really decided to take things to an entirely different level when she - dismayed by the loneliness in the region and the limited activity to deal with it - decided to launch her own charity to take direct action.
That charity - Marmalade Trust, launched in 2014 - set out to find lonely people and help build their confidence and reconnect them to friends and communities. Small at first, they are now at a point where they have hundreds of volunteers and a staff of interns - they survive entirely on fundraising and are very socially active - their Christmas day lunches are amazing!
Please tell us the impact of this person on their neighbourhood or the city
Amy has touched and positively changed the lives of so many lonely people who are at a stage in their life where they thought that society had forgotten about them. From individuals who had outlived friends and family, or lost a spouse, to those who had lost the skills and confidence to sustain social contact - many of these people just presumed that loneliness was their new way of life.
Amy changed that, and is finding more and more people to help the charity each year. Beyond that, she is also raising the issue in the minds of donors, partners and volunteers - helping to remove the stigma from loneliness in future generations
She believes that discussion and awareness is good, but action is better – and is constantly identifying new ways to address loneliness.
Please tell us about this person's volunteering activity, campaigning or other activity
Amy has always volunteered in Bristol, and in fact still volunteers for Contact the Elderly whilst running Marmalade Trust!
As part of running Marmalade she regularly speaks at local events to raise awareness of loneliness - Bristol Junior Chambers, various local groups, Clifton Club and has appeared on BBC to talk about the charity. She speaks with local politicians, including the city and lord mayor, and stays in touch with local MPs to keep loneliness on the agenda. She recently secured continued membership of the Bristol entrepreneurial accelerator (E-Spark) where she is able to share ideas with the most promising young entrepreneurs in the city.