The founder of a popular lockdown parenting Facebook group has been honoured with a Points of Light award from the prime minister.
Claire Balkind, 36, a history teacher from Barnet, received a personal letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.
“I am lost in admiration to learn that your Facebook group has grown to more than 1 million members,” he wrote.
Johnson thanked the mum-of-two on behalf of “the whole country” as well as all members of the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group.
He said: “I have been so uplifted by the ingenious ways in which people have adapted their lives to follow the rules, while having fun, staying in touch and helping others.”
The Facebook group, he said, is “a treasure-trove of such activities, unlocking the creative spirit of families across the nation while providing a much cherished source of comfort at this time.”
Balkind, meanwhile, said she was “deeply humbled” to receive the award and that it had been “such a privilege” to lead the group.
“The community amazes and inspires me every day and the support and love shown by the members for each other is very powerful. Families have proven that despite challenging circumstances, they can achieve great things,” she said.
Balkind set up the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group in March ahead of looming school closures to find ideas to keep her young children busy at home.
Since the start of the lockdown, the Facebook group grew into an online community of 1.1 million members – and even gave rise to an e-book.
The 59-page volume, published by Bluebird in May in aid of the children’s charity Barnado’s, contains 20 at-home children’s activities inspired by entries posted on the Facebook group.
A full-length paperback, entitled Great Family Days In and containing 75 activity ideas, will be published by the same publisher in the autumn.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.