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Hackney hero celebrated at Pride of Britain Awards

31st October 2022


Children with Voices founder Michelle Dornelly is featured in a giant mural on Old Street.

At Sanctuary, we get to work with some incredible people who step up and help deliver for their local communities.

Local mum, Michelle Dornelly, saw a need amongst her neighbours in Hackney and was determined to do something about it. Last week she was recognised for her work at the Pride of Britain Awards.

Michelle is the founder of Children with Voices (CwV), a charity that has fed more than 100,000 people. Working with a network of committed volunteers, CwV provides hot meals, food parcels and essential supplies through its community food hubs. The charity’s goal is to make sure that nobody goes hungry and everyone has access to healthy food – a goal that looks set to get harder this winter.

Michelle won the TSB Community Hero award and has seen her achievement celebrated with a huge 80ft mural in her local neighbourhood – a fitting monument to her achievement in a borough that’s famous for its colourful street art. 

Michelle said: “I was shocked when I saw the mural. I had no idea until I saw it last week. It felt crazy to be nominated, and then to win… that felt incredible.

“We work hard to support our community and I know things are about to get harder. This winter, we know we’re going to get lots more delivery calls and demand for hot meals, so we need people to help. Hopefully the awards will shine a light on what we’re doing and encourage more people to volunteer.”

Michelle attended the awards ceremony on Monday, where she received her award from Mary Berry.

Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, Toby Moore, said: “We’ve been very pleased to be able to support Michelle and this award is thoroughly deserved. Michelle has an incredible work ethic and works tirelessly to support our residents and many others across the area. She’s certainly the pride of Hackney.”

The Pride of Britain Awards is an annual ceremony that celebrates the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place. Nominations are made by members of the public and the winners are selected by a panel of celebrated public figures.