Mayor Boris awards Islington hero

A woman who dedicates herself to improving the lives of others, including raising money to send a bereaved family on holiday, has been given a special award by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Caroline Benford, 39, lives on the Hyde Village Estate, off North Road, Holloway.

She spends much of her spare time running bingo for pensioners, holiday activities for children and, as a qualified florist, arranging flowers for funerals for people of the estate.

‘Real difference’

Last month, she organised a walk and charity night to raise just under �3,000 to send children, whose dad died from a brain tumour, to Disneyland Paris.

Ms Benford said: “I got a phone call saying I had been nominated, then a certificate from Boris Johnson came in the post. I never asked for anything – I just wanted to help, to see the smile on people’s faces. It is really lovely though. I will put it in a frame on the wall in my kitchen so everyone who comes round can see it. I think I get it from my mum – she is a very giving person.”

Ms Benford said the night of the fundraiser was an emotional occasion.

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Mr Johnson said: “I would like to congratulate Caroline Benford, for being someone who is making a real difference in her community.”