Young Volunteer Of The Year Awards 2016
Mid Sussex District Council has acknowledged the outstanding contributions young people make to the local community by hosting the 3rd annual Young Volunteer of the Year Awards. Held at Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath on Monday 6 June 2016, the awards honoured 10 special young people who regularly give up their spare time to make a difference, improve their community and make a positive contribution to their local area.
The Young Volunteer of the Year Awards were presented by Councillor Peter Reed, Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council and he welcomed everyone to the event by saying: “Mid Sussex District Council honour the young members of our community who have done so much to make our District a great place to live. Just reading the citations I’m amazed at the sheer range of activities, fundraising and volunteer work these young people undertake to help others. I would like to thank them all for their efforts and I’m grateful to all the organisations that have put them forward for this honour.”
The Winner of the Young Community Volunteer Award was 18 year old Francesca Blewitt, who has volunteered at Outset Youth Action since 2011. Francesca has helped with the annual summer reading programme, worked at the Oxfam Charity Shop and given over 500 hours as a volunteer working for the Citizen Advice Bureau.
Outset Youth Action’s Caroline Halpin, who nominated her, said: “Francesca has shown commitment and dedication – she is a real role model and an ambassador to other young people.”
The runners up prizes went to 17 year old Teddy Osman and 18 year old Connor Chatterjee, who have both accrued over 500 hours as volunteer supporting the projects run by Kangaroos, a charity for children with special needs.
Lorna Herrett, Kangaroos Activities Officer and Co-Ordinator for Volunteers said: “Teddy treats the children with respect and they enjoy being in his company – he gets on well with the team and is a positive role model to the other volunteers. Connor is reliable and respected member of the team who is very hardworking and responsible – he will always do more that he is asked and is an important asset to the group.”
The Mid Sussex Young Volunteer of the Year Awards coincided with National Volunteers Week, 1st to 12th June – an annual event that celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. Volunteers are central to the work of countless charities and other organisations. They are a valuable presence in many communities, helping out in places as diverse as sports clubs, libraries, schools and hospitals. Any young people who are interested in volunteering and would like to find out more should contact Caroline Halpin at Caroline.Halpin@outsetyouth.org.uk or visit http://www.outsetyouth.org.uk/. Adults looking to volunteer can contact Sue Edgson at Horsham and Mid Sussex Voluntary Action by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by David Ash Peake