Banbury community hero awarded Prime Minister's Points of Light award

A Banbury community hero - Prabhu Natarajan - has today (Thursday May 20) been awarded the Prime Minister's Points of Light award for his service and contributions to the community in Banbury.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 1:42 pm
Banbury community hero - Prabhu Natarajan - has today (Thursday May 20) been awarded the Prime Minister's Points of Light award for his service to the community in Banbury during the Covid-19 pandemic (Image from Department of Culture, Media and Sport)

Prabhu has served as a volunteer supporting the community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, delivering more than 11,000 chocolates, treats and other foodstuffs to hundreds of families across Banbury.

Prabhu said: “If you want to live a happy life, take care of people around you. A smile and an act of kindness wins everything. Be generous to everyone.

“Thank you Prime Minister, each and everyone involved in considering me for this award. It’s not an individual effort.

"I have got immense support from my wife Shilpa Balachandran, my son Addhu (Advaith Prabhu) and the amazing people of the whole of Banbury.

"With their amazing support only I was able to do everything. I would love to dedicate this award to my dad, 11 family members and nine best friends who have passed away in the last 22 days due to Covid in India.”

Prabhu Natarajan moved to Banbury from India with his wife and son in March 2020 just as the Coronavirus outbreak started, but immediately set out to provide support for people in need across the local area by regularly collecting and delivering food parcels to people in need, as well as established his own food bank.

He has been further giving a boost to residents during lockdown by making his deliveries while dressed as superheroes, Santa Claus, and most recently, distributing thousands of donated eggs while dressed as the Easter bunny.

Prabhu Natarajan and his son, Addhu, who dressed as super heroes to deliver food packs to people in need in the community

Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.

The Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Prabhu is the 1637th person to be recognised.

As the UK unites to fight the spread of coronavirus, the award is focusing particularly on people serving their community through the pandemic.

In a personal letter to Prabhu, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Thank you for all that you have done over the last year to bring moments of happiness to the families of Banbury.

Prabhu received an Unsung Hero award in December from North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis - Pictured: Prabhu Natarajan and his son, Addhu.

“You have single-handedly delivered over 11,000 treats to people across the town, which is a staggering achievement. You have delighted local children by doing your deliveries in superhero costume, but the true hero is you!”

Victoria Prentis, MP for Banbury, who also recognised Prabhu as an Unsung Hero in North Oxfordshire in December 2020, said: “Prabhu is a true unsung hero and a credit to the Banbury community.

"His selflessness and generosity has given residents a real boost during such a difficult year. He is very deserving of this Point of Light Award. I look forward to meeting him in the coming weeks to thank him personally for his efforts.”

Prabhu dressed as the Easter bunny earlier this year as he delivered chocolate treats and food packs to people in the Banbury community
Photo collage of Prabhu as he dressed up to delivery food packs and chocolates to people in the Banbury community (Image from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)