Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today, February 13th 2018, recognised Michael Joseph, of Antigua and Barbuda as the 9th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service with the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society.
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19-20 April, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 52 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
By sharing these stories of service, the Heads of Government meeting will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Mr. Joseph became the youngest President of a national Red Cross Society in 2015, at the age of 26. He had dedicated over 18 years of volunteering to the Red Cross. As President, Mr. Joseph leads the ‘Club Lyfe’ blood donor initiative, raising voluntary blood donations in Antigua’s only blood bank from 2 per cent to 25 per cent. He has also played a lead role in hurricane preparations, using social media to inform residents what to pack in emergency bags and advising Governmental meetings.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. Mr. Joseph was presented with his certificate today by the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, at the official residence
Mr. Joseph said:
“I am extremely humbled and grateful to be bestowed the honour of being called a Commonwealth Point of Light awardee. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the recognition of Her Majesty The Queen and those on the selection committee, for their acknowledgement of my commitment and dedication to making whatever small fraction of this world a better place for humanity.”
My journey is far from over as the global humanitarian needs continue to climb, and while admittedly, it is impossible to respond to them all, I am more motivated now than ever before. It is my hope that this award would inspire, even if only one person, to help positively shape humanity, if not for us then those who stand to inherit it.”
Janet Douglas CMG, UK High Commissioner British High Commissioner to Barbados, and non-resident High Commissioner to Dominica, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis said:
“Michael Joseph’s 18 years of service as a volunteer and, since 2015, as President of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross stands as an outstanding example of commitment to community and country. Michael has championed initiatives which have a direct and lasting positive effect in the areas of public health and disaster preparedness in Antigua and Barbuda. Michael has recently played a crucial role in leading the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross’ response to the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on Barbuda in September 2017.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 52 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting will bring together leaders from all the 52 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.
Photo: Micheal Joseph.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH POINT OF LIGHT AWARD
- The Point of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.
- Points of Light began in America under President George H. W. Bush and today over 6,000 US Points of Light have been recognised. The scheme has the support of all living US Presidents.
- Since 2014 the UK Prime Minister has been recognising a daily Point of Light from the UK, with almost 900 now recognised.
- Commonwealth Points of Light is a continuation of this programme – with a special series of awards recognising inspirational volunteers throughout the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April. One volunteer will be recognised from each of the Commonwealth countries in the 52 week days preceding the Heads of Government meeting.