LULJETA NUZI

2012

HONORARY WINNER

When Luljeta came to London from Albania in 1999 with her family seeking sanctuary she was isolated and desperate to learn English. A mixture of anger and gratitude motivated her to volunteer – anger, that she was misinformed about the support available to her and gratitude, because a local project helped her find her feet. ‘Everything I learned, I shared with my community’ she says and in 2001 she founded the Shpresa Programme, ‘Shpresa’ meaning hope. Today the organisation has nine staff, 52 active volunteers, provides services across seven boroughs and campaigns nationally. Shpresa’s integration model which Luljeta shares freely, often mentoring other community organisations, is to work in partnership to make services accessible and only to set up new ones if no one else can help.