A Cumbrian man, has won a new volunteering award, announced by David Cameron.
The Point of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers and people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. The award is modelled on the Points of Light programme in America which was established by President George H. W. Bush
Peter Maher led a campaign to to establish a community village pub in Ennerdale Bridge. The town had lost it’s post office, bus service, shop and then finally, in 2010, their pub was closed.
However, Peter raised the idea of establishing a co-operative pub and a target of £67,000 was raised in eight days. The final total came to £83,000 from 182 members.
From there, he organised 100 volunteers to clean and decorate the pub. It reopened in April 2011, six weeks after the campaign's first meeting.
The pub’s reopening is said to have revived a sense of community spirit.
Following this, Peter played a key role in preparing and submitting a bid to the Big Lottery Fund. On 18th March 2014, a grant of £478,000 was given to Ennerdale to help fund a community building to create more opportunities for Ennerdale Bridge residents. The building will house an-after school club, art and craft classes, a library and exercise classes.
– Prime Minister David Cameron
"Peter led a fantastic campaign to bring his community together and save a much loved local pub. His wider work in leading the regeneration of the community is helping to support an increase in tourism and fostering an ever growing local pride in a beautiful part of the country. I am delighted to be able to recognise Peter’s service to his community by making him a Point of Light.”
– Peter Maher, Point of Light
“I’m very pleased to have been chosen to win this award. However, my thanks go to a whole host of local people who have worked hard to make our community regeneration project a reality. Volunteers and staff work daily to give villagers and visitors alike a real taste of Cumbria.”