Barnstaple Community Support Group Awarded MPs Points of Light Award

Selaine Saxby has awarded her third Coronavirus Heroes Points of Light Award to the Barnstaple Coronavirus Support Network (BCSN)!

The network, founded by Sophie Brookes (pictured centre in grey), is based around a Facebook group which has acted as a hub for those both needing support and offering support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sophie will be receiving the award on behalf of the group, but the nomination was for the whole group to be recognised. The network has produced an army of volunteers who have worked as one, getting shopping, collecting prescriptions and many other acts of kindness to get Barnstaple through a difficult period.

The resident of the town who nominated the group, said:

The BCSN is comprised of over 100 amazing volunteers, who should all be recognised for their action in supporting our local community at this time. Without every one of them, the support network would not have grown too what it is. Thank you to all those who have contributed to the page, which now has over 3000 followers!

The Barnstaple Support Network is the third winner of this award, after the previous recipients, Julie Whitton of Swimbridge and Clair Rice of Combe Martin.

In accepting the award on behalf of the network, Sophie said:

I set the BCSN up before lockdown started, as I felt it was important for the residents of Barnstaple to have an online support group in place which provided up to date and relevant information, somewhere for individuals in need of support to ask for it, a place for people to give their support and more recently a platform for independently-run local businesses to advertise throughout this tough time on our community.  I want to thank all our volunteers and I would like to continue the community support group after the Coronavirus to support community strength.

Selaine said:

Congratulations to the Barnstaple Coronavirus Support Network. Much like the previous weeks’ winners in Swimbridge and Combe Martin, it has been support networks like the BCSN, set up spontaneously by dedicated volunteers like Sophie, that has been a lifeline to so many vulnerable and in need in our communities.

Thank you to Sophie for setting up the network, but congratulations to everyone who has come out and has given their time and effort for others. Like Julie and Clair, our previous Points of Light, BCSN stands out as a beacon for others to follow in North Devon.”

Nominations are still open for other Points of Light. Selaine would like to hear from anyone who thinks they know of someone who deserves recognition for their dedication to their community. Send an email to Selaine at, with the details of your nomination and a picture.


Image: Some members of BCSN (left to right): Robbie Mack, Karen Grant, Sophie Brookes (founder), Mark Lamprey, Shahnaz Jeffrey, Graham Boyle and Lorri Stamp.