THE founder of a Dales social enterprise currently developing a mental health app has received Prime Minister Boris Johnston’s daily Point of Light award.

Jonathan Greenwood, from Wensleydale, founded ‘Group Hug’ and becomes the 1,597th person to receive the award. He worked hard to provide locals with a mental health ‘boost’ during the first lockdown.

In a personal letter to Mr Greenwood, Boris Johnson said: “I was inspired to hear about how you have used your software skills to develop the ‘Group Hug’ app. At a time when people are unable to hug their loved ones physically, it is wonderful that you are holding them together in the digital world. You have created a supportive space for individuals to talk informally with volunteers about their mental health concerns. It is more important than ever that people feel able to speak out and connect with others.

“On top of this, you have found time to deliver over 1,800 bags of treats to those in need and to those serving on the front line. You are a true Point of Light in your community!”

“On behalf of the whole country, thank you, and congratulations on becoming the UK’s 1597th Point of Light.”

Mr Greenwood said: “It's a privilege to head up a project like ‘Group Hug’ and encourage the support from many people via volunteering.”

‘Group Hug’ is a social enterprise, powered by volunteers and here to free your mind.

“To receive this award and become a Point of Light builds on the foundation of my aim to give light to many people by freeing their mind, whilst recognising the efforts required to produce such a project. I'm honoured and thank you Prime Minister, I look forward to the launch of ‘Group Hug’ later this year.”

The social enterprise has engaged with over 80 businesses from Yorkshire to help raise funds to support the launch. Once lockdown is over, it will reach out across the whole of Yorkshire to find more businesses who wish to align and support the mental health project.

To find out more about ‘Group Hug’ and how you can help