‘Points of light’ shine bright after PM’s recognition

A pair of volunteers from Northampton who run an eco-sustainable farm with an education and rejuvenation centre have received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award.

They have now been described as “outstanding individuals” by those working in Parliament.

Sol Haven, run by Sammuel Yisrael and Natasha Caton in Moulton, hosts wellbeing projects, particularly for people who have experienced hardship, and has delivered wellbeing events to over 500 people, including many vulnerable and homeless individuals.

Caton experienced various addictions and homelessness at a young age, and partnered with Yisrael, a long-time community volunteer who has extensive experience of working with people who are disabled, have learning disabilities or are living homeless.

Together they created a project that could help people grow and recover from adversity by connecting meaningfully with natural surroundings. On their farm, the pair provide sessions in rural skills, growing food, eco-therapy, meditation, nature-based arts and crafts, and cooking, led by Natasha, who is a Michelin-trained vegan chef.

Congratulating Yisrael and Caton on their award, Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, said: “It is wonderful news that Sammuel and Natasha are being recognised by the Prime Minister for their outstanding contribution and support to homeless and vulnerable people in the community. ‘Sol Haven’ really is changing people’s lives through education and rejuvenation, and I hope their actions will inspire others to provide a helping hand to those in need. A very big well done indeed.”

Yisreal and Caton said: “This is an incredibly humbling experience to be honoured in this way.

“Points of Light is an important initiative and we are honoured to be considered as ‘outstanding individuals’ by those working in Parliament.

“We are beyond delighted to be able to offer vulnerable and homeless individuals a safe working environment to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. Bringing all our passions and expertise together to offer an opportunity we truly believe, and hope will help many people.”

Yisrael and Caton are recipients of the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.

Chris Heaton-Harris, the pair’s local MP for Daventry, said: “It is wonderful news that Sammuel and Natasha are being recognised by the Prime Minister for their outstanding contribution and support to homeless and vulnerable people in the community. ‘Sol Haven’ really is changing people’s lives through education and rejuvenation, and I hope their actions will inspire others to provide a helping hand to those in need. A very big well done indeed.”

This award comes at the time of them launching their new wellbeing course ‘Ploughing The Mind’ which has been supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The ‘Ploughing The Mind’ 12-week course has been designed to help people struggling with their mental health to reconnect with the community, themselves and make new friends.

Activities within the course include nature and horticultural therapy, mental health education, movement meditation, drumming and cooking. A mixture of activities combined to provide support, outlets for expression and the ability to learn new skills.

Following the completion of the programme Sol Haven will look to continue to support people in a wider programme. One that will continue to help them to overcome the barriers to both engaging socially with others and finding work.

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