A retired businesswoman from Worthing has been named a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron, for her outstanding commitments to supporting young disadvantaged young people.

Mary Goodchild

Mary Goodchild, 72, is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Working with The Prince’s Trust, Mary helped to design the courses and kick-start the initiative which helps young people get involved in business.

After a long and successful career as a businesswoman, Mary became passionate about passing on the skills she learnt from her business experiences to help young people succeed.

During her 35 years as a volunteer for The Prince’s Trust, Mary has given over 3300 hours to mentor at least 500 young people. She meets with each young person once or twice a month, and has also inspired 25 of her own mentees to come back and volunteer as mentors themselves.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Mary has shown a remarkable passion for passing on the skills and knowledge she built up during her own career. By working with The Prince’s Trust to design and deliver a skills and mentoring scheme, she has given many young people the opportunity to change their lives.  I am delighted to recognise Mary as the UK’s 456th Point of Light.

As well as mentoring, Mary is also Chair of Trustees at The Bridge, a Brighton-based charity which fundraises £250,000 a year. Mary has deployed her business skills to lead the charity for 8 years through many changes including moving premises. The Bridge trains young people in the skills they need to move into work, and helps 1000 young people every year.

Mary is the 456th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.

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 Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

Mary said:

I have benefited from the volunteering, just as much as those I have tried to help. I enjoy every minute of the work and I am still constantly amazed at the challenges people overcome.