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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today recognised Corey Lane, from Barbados, as the 57th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service helping young people to develop their leadership skills.
Corey has created a fully working farm to provide young Barbadians at risk of falling into a life of crime with a positive alternative.
Starting out with one horse, a crop of lettuce plants and some rabbits in his grandmother’s backyard, Corey has grown the ‘Nature Fun Ranch’ into a thriving charity. Relocated on a larger site, the ranch is now home to 16 horses and a range of sports facilities including an archery space and obstacle course.
The young people attending farm watermelons, squash and peppers, distributing their harvests to the local public hospitals. Over 2,000 young people have visited the ranch, developing leadership skills, learning about healthy lifestyles, integrating positively with the local community and having fun. The late Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon David Thompson was a devoted supporter of the ranch and, in 2016, Corey showed Prince Harry the innovative work taking place there as part of his visit marking Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence.
As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April this year, 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 recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country each week in the two years following the summit. This follows an earlier round of awards to Commonwealth volunteers before the meeting, in which fellow Barbadian Kemar Saffrey was recognised.
By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards 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.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The award for Corey was presented this morning at Government House, by Her Excellency the Governor General, Dame Sandra Mason.
Corey said: “I’m extremely happy to be the second Commonwealth Point of Light for Barbados. Just ten days ago, I celebrated 20 years of service through the Nature Fun Ranch and other community initiatives in Barbados. This is where we created an innovative and adventurous way of getting at risk young people to become citizens of excellence. At this time I feel recharged, fired up and ready to go for another 20 years. Thank you for this honour.”
Janet Douglas, UK High Commissioner in Barbados said: “I am pleased that Corey Lane has been chosen by Her Majesty The Queen as the second Commonwealth Point of Light for Barbados. Through his outstanding work with the Nature Fun Ranch and other community initiatives, Corey has made a sterling contribution by turning round the lives of at risk teens in Barbados. Volunteering can make a real difference to communities, and Corey’s work shows what can be achieved.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting brought 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.