A WOMAN who has spent most of her life helping others said she was ‘elated’ to win a Citizen Pride award.
Barbara Reeves, from Woburn, won the Helping/Caring for Others category at this newspaper’s Pride in Milton Keynes Awards earlier this month, after being nominated by a co-worker and a member of the support group she runs.
The group, CanDo: MK, was set up by Barbara after P3, the charity she worked for, ran out of funding in July and had to close.
At P3 Barbara ran a support group for socially isolated people, and she wanted this service to carry on being available.
Barbara said: “I felt there was a desperate need to help these people still, so I started up CanDo:MK.”
The organisation helps vulnerable people over the age of 18 who are socially isolated and living chaotic lives.
It provides them with somewhere regular to go and talk about their problems.
“It’s called CanDo:MK because it’s for people who have hit rock bottom but can still do anything, with our help,” said Barbara.
The group supports members with a range of tasks, including accessing vital outside agencies, keeping and going to appointments, as well as making sure those who go to college, go.
Many of the members are “people in society that have been forgotten about,” said Barbara.
“They are people who have given up caring and need help to get their lives back on track.”
CanDo:MK is a lifeline for a number of its members; those who need the support that they find hard to get elsewhere.
Surprisingly, Barbara has so far funded the organisation herself.
According to her, this fact is neither here nor there; she’s just glad that these people are getting the support they need.
If she hasn’t provided the money herself, then she has relied on the good nature of others.
For example, she managed to secure the rent for the centre they use, from other groups who occupy the same building.
There is an ongoing effort to try and secure donations and raise more funds in order to maintain the running of the group.
It is through the help of donations that CanDo:MK has managed to get enough money together for a Christmas party next week, “so we’re all looking forward to that,” said Barbara.
When asked how she felt about winning the award, Barbara told us: “I was absolutely elated when I found out I’d won the award.”
“It’s brilliant to know that people recognise what I do in Milton Keynes and the important need for it.”
> For more on the Pride Awards, including details of all the winners, a picture gallery and video, visit http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/pride_in_milton_keynes_awards_1_1804393