Since being conceived in 2020, the Advent Angels have been busy making Portland Island a better place. Run by the Island Community Action group (ICA), and representing the number of days of Advent, the Advent Angels, nominated every year by Portland residents, are local people who have helped others and made a difference in the community....
Bringing Community Closer Together
The recognition of 24 Angels, nominated by local residents and representing the number of days in Advent, has become a much celebrated and anticipated annual tradition of Island life at this time of year since the scheme’s inception at the time of the pandemic and lockdowns. Bringing community closer together and displaying the best of the human spirit at such a time, the Angels have contributed massively to the emotional and physical well-being of this community, and the seeds of that contribution continue to spread their positive impact both on the island and further afield.
Katy Pascoe, the operation’s project manager, proudly said: "Year after year, we're overwhelmed by the incredible community that we feel proud to be a part of. It really is a privilege to celebrate some of the wonderful people, who actively contribute to making Portland such a wonderful place to live and work."
The inspiring nominees include Isobel Sommers, who recently started a Mental Health Crisis Intervention Hub, following a career in the police force. After recognising the value of her own lived experience when working with people processing trauma, she trained as a therapist and devoting her energy, passion and even personal finances created The Sanctuary - two safe spaces for people to meet. On Christmas Day Ms Sommers and her team of amazing volunteers cooked dinners for people who were on their own.
Other nominees this year included Jill Couse, who knitted a replica of the digestive system to help a blind GCSE student understand the shape of the organs, feel more confident, and pass their biology exam; Matt Blathorn, a primary school teacher, who helps to run Epic Games Dorset, a community group for table-top board-gamers, which
provides a safe, welcoming space for people of all ages, genders and abilities to socialise and develop problem-solving skills; and George, a 13 year old who at the end of each school day makes his granddad, who suffers from two types of cancer, cups of tea and chats with him (and his grandma), as well as staying with them at the weekends to help care for them.
All the 24 Angels selected receive a gift basket, jam packed full of products from multiple local businesses as a thank-you for their generosity.
The Island looks forward to more acts of kindness and creativity going forward to the new calendar year!
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