An astronomer from Derbyshire who set up a charity with his late wife to donate astronomy kits for children with special educational needs has received Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s daily Points of Light award.
Patrick Poitevin and his late wife Joanne established the Scopes4SEN charity in 2015. It aims to offer children with special educational needs and vulnerable people the chance to observe the Moon, planets and stars by giving them access to high-quality telescopes and astronomy equipment.
Scopes4SEN has distributed 2,000 telescopes to locations across the UK, and raised £81,000 to buy other astronomy equipment including digital books, binoculars, solar observing kit, digital microscopes and magnifiers.
Professor Mike Edmunds, the President of the Royal Astronomical Society said: “Patrick’s work is inspiring. Through Scopes4SEN he and Joanne have made an extraordinary contribution to widening participation in astronomy to many who would not otherwise have ever had direct experience of the wonder of viewing the skies. I’m delighted that their endeavour has been recognised by the Prime Minister.”
Notes for editors
- Patrick is the 2018th recipient of the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected by the Prime Minister to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
- The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
- The Prime Minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.
- If people know someone who could be a Point of Light, they should write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.