Telford charity founder hopes to inspire others after Jubilee honour

A Telford charity founder hopes being honoured with a BEM in the Queen's Birthday Honours list will inspire more community heroes.

Kate Phillips
Kate Phillips

Kate Phillips has been recognised for her voluntary service to vulnerable people and their families in Telford and Wrekin.

It's reward for her work as founder and volunteer project manager of The Christmas Smile Project.

"I was really surprised," Kate said. "I got my letter in the post and had to read it a few times!

"I am just so grateful for whoever took the time to put me forward and it's a real honour.

"To receive recognition from The Queen, it's special for me but also just lovely for the charity because it's now been given the Royal Seal of Approval.

"I am very passionate about the community and do a lot of volunteering because of that passion.

"I love to bring people together and hate the idea of them struggling on their own, so I do all I can to connect people in need.

"I hope getting the award will increase more community awareness and participation in the charity and inspire others to volunteer within their own communities."

Speaking about her charity, which is now in its tenth year, Kate added: "Christmas Smile distributes gifts to lonely and disadvantaged people in the Telford area.

"I was volunteering at the Telford Crisis Support Group in 2013 and realised quickly that some families were struggling to put food on the tables for their children.

"If they couldn't afford to put food on the table, there's no way they could give gifts to their children so I asked work colleagues for donations and Christmas Smile was born."

The charity was expanded to help the elderly too and combat loneliness and last year they gave out 10,000 gifts.

"I hope the charity increases empathy within the community as people realise not everyone is in as good a position as they are," she added.

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