Human Services Minister hands over Commonwealth Points of Light award to Ayo Dalgety-Dean

Ayo Dalgety-Dean, Founder of Blossom Inc, was awarded the Commonwealth Points of Light in a presentation ceremony hosted by the British High Commissioner, Jane Miller.  The Minister of Human Services and Social Security, the Honourable Vindhya Persaud, MP, handed over the award signed my Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Commonwealth Points of Light is a continuation of the UK Prime Minister’s Points of Light programme, with a special series of awards recognising inspirational volunteers throughout the Commonwealth.  These awards are made by Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, to thank inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.

Following the success of this programme, Her Majesty The Queen continues this work and awards one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.  Ayo is the 176th person to have been given this award since it first began.

Blossom Inc is an NGO which supports children who have experienced sexual abuse or trauma by providing psychological counselling and support with the judicial process.  From September 2020 to March of this year, the British High Commission has supported the organisation in its work to strengthen Child Advocacy Centres and Sexual Offences Courts in Guyana as part of the COVID-19 response.

During this period, the initiative has resulted in 1,638 virtual psychosocial support sessions and 261 in-person therapy sessions.  Blossom Inc have supported 134 children and their families at court and enabled continuous case review and case tracking of cases through the police, judiciary and court systems.  473 cases were successfully tracked this way.

In addition, Ayo and her team have conducted 86 Forensic Interviews in hard to reach communities.

The support has also enabled training of professionals in Forensic Interviewing of Children and enabled the purchase of supplies for Child Advocacy Centres and Courts to support virtual platforms and remote court participation.