Alice Pulford - Winner of Britain's Best Volunteer 2015

Founder, LoveSupportUnite Foundation

Alice Pulford, who founded and volunteers for LoveSupportUnite Foundation, a fundraising organisation for Tilinanu Orphanage.

Nominated by Catriona Oliver, Adam Moralee, her sister Nina and mum Yvonne, Alice began volunteering in 2008 aged 17 during a year out in Malawi. After teaching at a primary school for five months, she began work on building a shelter which soon grew into an orphanage housing 20 girls.

Alice returned to the UK to begin her university studies and spent her spare time during the year fundraising to expand the orphanage. The following summer, she returned to Malawi and used the funds to double the size of the shelter and move in 36 children - giving many their first chance to attend school.

In 2014, Alice founded the LoveSupportUnite foundation with her sister Nina and continued fundraising for a school to be built and a 'porridge fund' to help feed the children. The charity now sends £1,500 each month to the orphanage.

Alice has also been in discussion with the Malawian government relating to a proposal which will set the standard of education expected from schools across Malawi, and that Tilinanu Orphanage is to be used as the prototype for the standard that orphanages in Malawi must aim to adhere to.

“She has helped the lives of hundreds of thousands of Malawian's and I know that her journey has ony just begun!”

Alice was announced as the winner of Britain's Best Volunteer 2015 in a close result which saw the public cast a total of 3,000 votes for the five finalists. With Alice currently volunteering in Malawi, Andy Partington and John Barrett presented LoveSupportUnite volunteers Sophie Riley, Ibzie Duckett, Scarlett Duckett and Alex Duckett with a cheque for £1,250 for the charity at Alice’s former school, Ratcliffe College in Leicestershire. Alice will also receive £1,000 in holiday vouchers for her own personal use.

On hearing she had won the award, Alice said:

“My sister Nina, and I, believe that to make positive and lasting change you need to take the time to work and listen to communities and build development together. The work that we are doing is not easy – and there is no quick fix. We are continuously working to generate change, and to build our support network.

”We are so shocked but grateful for the acknowledgement and love that has been shown for our efforts with this award. The endless love and support from our family, friends, community, local schools and, of course, our wonderful volunteers has enabled us to contribute positive change within the lives of so many hundreds of children, adults and communities in Malawi. Our dedication to this cause is lifelong. We want to share the opportunities that we have been lucky enough to receive in our life to help others less fortunate. Our motto is: we are love, we are grass roots, we believe in positive sustainable change.”

Alice added that the £1,000 holiday vouchers will be used for flights to Malawi, and the £1,250 donation will be put towards making the school standards project sustainable, and to introduce nutritional support through education of drip irrigation techniques.

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