NewsUK Prime Minister recognises work of British volunteer preserving historic buildings in the Czech Republic Prague

12 January 2017 – UK Prime Minister Theresa May has recognised the conservation work of a dedicated Brit volunteering in the Czech Republic and named her a Point of Light.

Barbara Peacock
Barbara Peacock

Barbara Peacock is an architectural historian and a founder of The Friends of Czech Heritage. Inspired by the beauty of the Czech Republic’s many stately homes she set about fundraising in order to repair, preserve and enhance historic buildings, gardens and parks in the country. Working with local partners, the charity has been involved with thirty conservation projects, organised eleven working parties of mostly British volunteers to work on heritage sites throughout the Czech Republic, and has contributed over 500 ‘man days’ of volunteer work at the Château of Červený Dvůr. The internationally renowned architect and designer Eva Jiřičná and MP Greg Hands are patrons of the charity.

Barbara is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Barbara, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Your unique work with ‘The Friends of Czech Heritage’ is harnessing British passion for heritage and volunteer power to repair, preserve and enhance the many beautiful historic buildings, gardens and parks across the Czech Republic. “Across the world British volunteers like you are helping to build a better world for everyone. The Point of Light award is a small thank you on behalf of the whole country, in recognition of your exceptional service.

Barbara said: “The Czech Republic is a small country with an outstandingly rich architectural and artistic heritage that was seriously endangered after years of post-war neglect. The determination of the Czechs to restore their patrimony despite a severe shortage of funds inspired the creation of the British charity The Friends of Czech Heritage. I am thrilled to receive this award from the Prime Minister and to accept it on behalf of all those who have worked so hard to instigate many restoration projects, thereby bringing a wider recognition of the Czech cultural heritage.

Barbara is the 656th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

Angus Stewart, the Deputy Head of Mission, said: “I would like to congratulate Barbara on winning the Points of Light Award and thank her for the outstanding contribution she has made to the preservation of Czech heritage, history and culture.

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