Prime Minister recognises Orbis volunteer Polly Holt with award

July 2018

Orbis UK’s very own Polly Holt, who has volunteered with us for over eight years, has been recognised by Prime Minister Theresa May for her ongoing dedication and support.

Polly received a ‘Points of Light’ award and is one of six volunteers specially recognised to coincide with the first ever Global Disability Summit, which took place this week.

Polly is a talented illustrator and designer. Since 2010 she has enhanced the work of our small communications team with her creative input two afternoons a week.

She has been specifically recognised for the work she did to bring our 2015 ‘Vision for Zambia’ campaign to life. Polly significantly boosted the impact of the campaign by creating incredible graphics, films and other materials for what became our biggest ever campaign.

The campaign raised £1.9 million, funding a three-year project in Zambia which is training 300 ophthalmic specialists, 1,300 health workers and screening 70,000 children in rural Zambia.

Just In Time from Orbis UK on Vimeo.

An example of Polly Holt's work for Orbis UK as our comms volunteer

As part of the build-up to the summit, Polly was invited to a roundtable hosted at the Department for International Development by Lord Bates, Minister of State for International Development, where she was also presented with her award.

On hearing the news of her award win, Polly said: "Wow thank you, what an honour. Orbis UK has such a positive impact on the world, and being part of that team brings me such joy, motivation, achievement, laughter, wellbeing... so many things come from volunteering, it’s a reward in itself!"

The Global Disability Summit saw over 700 delegates, including numerous world leaders, attend the event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The aim of the event is to celebrate the achievements and rights of disabled people and to call for governments to support four major commitments: dignity and respect for all, inclusive education, economic empowerment and technology and innovation.

By volunteering your creative skills you supported Orbis to create an award winning campaign that raised over £1 million and transformed the lives of children in rural Zambia

Theresa May

Prime Minister

Polly is the 964th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.

There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.