A 15-year-old volunteer who set up an initiative in Malmesbury to help vulnerable members of the community during the pandemic has today received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award.

Ben Thornbury set up ‘Malmesbury Coronavirus Advice and Support’ at the start of lockdown, an online platform connecting 65 local volunteers to people in need and offering a variety of services, including prescription collection, grocery shopping, dog walking and welfare checks via phone.

Prior to the outbreak, Ben has been active in supporting his community through regular litter picks and local clean-up campaigns.

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Ben said: "I'm so thankful and honoured to hear I have received the Points of Light award.

"I can only thank my team and the people who surround me and all of our Facebook supporters.

"I have been volunteering for the last four years in my town of Malmesbury and I'm glad I could make a big difference to the community during this challenging time.

"And I will continue to volunteer my time to inspire others to do great things and to help others."

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, added: "Ben Thornbury is a most remarkable and public-spirited young man.

"I first came across him when, without any prompting, he set off to clean up his town of Malmesbury.

"When Covid lockdown struck, it occurred to Ben that there would be many vulnerable people around the town who would need help in their everyday lives.

"So he set up a 'Coronavirus advice and support' website on top of his school work to help those in need.

"Ben is an outstanding example of community-minded volunteering, and I have every confidence in supporting the award of the Prime Minister's daily Points of Light award programme."

The Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Ben is the 1467th person to be recognised.

The award is currently focused exclusively on people serving their community through the pandemic.