Local hero honoured for fighting loneliness

Mike Harvey will get is reward in May
Mike Harvey will get is reward in May

A local hero is to receive the ‘champion of change’ award for his outstanding work to address social isolation in his community.

Mike Harvey will receive the Rotary club award in May this year after being picked out from nearly 50,000 members.

By harnessing the commitment of many groups including Rotary in the area, Age Concern, Rotary Meals on Wheels and the Chichester College of Further Education, Mike developed Bridging Generations, an inter-generational programme.

Older people, who were at risk of isolation, are brought together with health and social care students twice a month. They meet, chat and enjoy refreshments in Chichester College. Students have a greater understand of how devastating isolation can be and the participants enjoy a great day out.

Mike, a member of Chichester Priory Rotary, will receive his Champions of Change award, with other Rotary heroes from across the country, at a ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff in Cardiff City Hall in May in this year.

The Cardiff location is significant as 2018 marks 100 years of Rotary in Wales.

The search for champions was carried out across Rotary’s vibrant network of nearly 2,000 clubs and 50,000 members, revealing endeavors ranging from supporting the armed forces veterans with mental health issues to helping Gambian schoolchildren.

Denis Spiller, president of rotary international, said: “The selfless and truly life-changing impact of our champions really demonstrate that we all make a difference.

“With Rotary, it just takes an idea and, with the help of our highly connected organisation, that idea becomes a reality with unending support from across the globe.

“Mike’s work is invaluable in helping tackle loneliness in such a clever way has helped to unite two very different groups of people with great success. He is a very worthy recipient of a Rotary Champions of Change award.”