Her Majesty The Queen recognises Guyanese road safety campaigner with Commonwealth Points of Light award
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today, February 23rd 2018, recognised Denise Dias, of Guyana as the 17th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of her exceptional voluntary work campaigning for better road safety regulations following the tragic death of her daughter, Alicea.
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 53 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.
Denise established the Alicea Foundation in 1997, also known as ‘Mothers in Black’ following the death of her 17 year old daughter Alicea in 1996 in a road accident caused by a drunk driver. With other grieving mothers and concerned citizens Denise organised a weekly one-hour vigil outside Parliament buildings. For 4 years mothers and supports of Mothers in Black stood silently dressed in black with pictures of their lost loved ones until the eventual road safety legislation was passed. Amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act in 2002 saw enforcement for the use of helmets, seat belts, breathalysers and radar guns.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The award for Denise Dias will be presented on 14 April 2018 at Pakuri Village during a Commonwealth Big Lunch by H.E Greg Quinn.
“I am so shocked and so honoured. Even though I haven’t got Alicea in my life now she continues to save so many lives across Guyana”
Greg Quinn, British High Commissioner to Guyana:
“Denise has been a tireless campaigner on road safety. I have been humbled by her work, especially given the tragic circumstances surrounding it. She is, without question, a very deserving recipient of a Points of Light Award and it is an honour for me to have the opportunity to congratulate her on this occasion.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting will bring together leaders from all the 53 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.