Volunteer Awards recognise the stars of Mansfield
Some of Mansfield District's unsung heroes were recognised and thanked for their amazing contribution to their local communities at the 2011 Mansfield Volunteer Awards last week.
Other similar events have taken place in the past to celebrate the valuable work that volunteers do within communities, but this is the first year that the events have been combined and been organised and run in partnership by representatives from;
- Mansfield District Council
- Mansfield District Tenant and Resident Groups
- Mansfield Community and Voluntary Service
- Mansfield Volunteer Centre
- Mansfield Woodhouse Community Development Group
- Ladybrook Neighbourhood Management Team
Mick Beresford, Chair of the Mansfield Volunteer Awards committee - "It was an extremely successful evening to celebrate all the hard work that volunteers do in the community and it was great to hold the event as part of the National Volunteers Week".
The awards winners were:
The Emily Dawes Award - Geoff Sheldon from Forest Town Youth Club
Geoff has helped to run the Forest Town Youth Club for over 25 years and all the staff and young people would be lost without him. Even though he's been very ill at times, he's still raised money, run several projects and is also very supportive, caring and treats all the young people with respect.
The Community Group Award - Friends of Robin Hood from Mansfield Woodhouse
The Friends of Robin Hood work tirelessly and completely voluntary to provide activities for the children in their community and surrounding areas. They have been providing holiday play schemes for children aged 3 to 16 years for the past seven years and also provide a youth club with arts & crafts on Wednesday evenings.
At the moment, the group is also working with the Eastern European community to organize a series of football matches. They have full support from the local police and have helped to reduce anti social behaviour in the local community by keeping children off the streets.
Under-18 Award - Graham Percival, volunteer for APTCOO
Graham has been volunteering for at A Place To Call Our Own (APTCOO) for the past year. He leads a group of young people in African drumming sessions as a tool to communicate with them through rhythm.
Overcoming difficulties of his own, he still finds time and courage to support other children and young people with disabilities. He facilitates groups and empowers them to share and express emotions by using rhythms which match moods and feelings. Graham is someone who children and young people can relate to and know that despite all the barriers, they can be removed and good feelings can be part of every day life.
Margaret Wilson Award - Roy Chapman from Bull Farm
Roy has been volunteering for 15 years and has been nominated by Buddies Charity Shop, which he helped to set up and where he's been volunteering for the last 3 years. He has raised £100s for the Motor Neurons Disease Charity, Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation, Notts & Lincs Air Ambulance Charity and other charities.
Roy has also set up a garden at the local primary school, which he helps the children to prepare and grow vegetables.
He has made a huge difference to the local community of Bull Farm and deserves recognition for all the time he devotes to volunteering.
Andrew Wallace Award - Zoe Etches from Warsop Children's Centre
Zoe has volunteered for many years and moved to this area from Bournemouth a year ago with her husband and three children.
She has adapted to her new community by volunteering at the local Children's Centre and Homestart, which includes helping in the playroom, being on reception, attending courses, being involved in the Parent Forum and Partnership Board. She is now the Chairperson of a parent led funding group called 'Contributing to your Community'.
Zoe has fantastic commitment to drive things forward that will have an impact on her family and her new community.
Outstanding Volunteer Award - Dennis Townsend from Mansfield
Dennis has worked tirelessly over the last 16 years to provide a much needed service in the community. He voluntarily provides a full cooked dinner and dessert each Monday and a cooked brunch each Wednesday for up to 50 members of the community, mainly pensioners.
He also organises five-day coach holidays to different locations each year allowing these mainly older people to have a well organized and safety conscious holiday. He also travels with the holiday makers to ensure everything runs smoothly.
He spends endless amounts of time ensuring that residents in the community get together at least twice a week in a social setting to allow them to safely interact and meet new friends, preventing them from feeling isolated and alone.
Despite being 78, Dennis is determined to continue doing his voluntary work for the local community.