• Claire, Marketing Officer

Monmouthshire's Marvellous Volunteers Celebrated

The County’s dedicated volunteers were recognised for their contribution to the community at a special Awards ceremony held at the Caldicot Choir Hall on Friday, 25th November 2016.

The GAVO Monmouthshire Volunteer Achievement Awards is an annual event and showcases the importance of volunteer contribution throughout Monmouthshire.

It celebrates and recognises those who dedicate their time and skills to make a positive impact on our communities and make a significant difference to the lives of many individuals.

In total there were eight categories. Awards were presented to two Highly Commended & a Winner in each.

Clare Jones, GAVO Volunteering Team Manager said: “What a fantastic achievement for all concerned. Individuals recognised for their contribution and service to their local communities ranged from 8 months to 30 years, which is worthy of celebration and truly inspirational.

Each and every volunteer at the evening, whether they have served for a few months or thirty years, are role models who show what a terrific community spirit there is in Monmouthshire.

It was an honour to meet so many volunteers who give such a considerable amount of their time and energy for the good of the community and to help other people - to see them presented with their Awards was fantastic.”

This year GAVO joined forces with Monmouthshire County Council who supported to help make this event wider reaching. The independent judging panel had a tough job sifting through the high volume and standard of nominations.

The compere this year was Sinead Evans, of the Pan-Gwent GAVO Volunteering Team, who stood in last minute and did a fabulous job.

Martin Featherstone, Chief Executive Officer GAVO welcomed special guests to the evening, including Vice Lord Lieutenant for Gwent, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Tuggey CBE DL, Councillor Peter Fox, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, together with other local dignitaries from Public, Private and Third Sector alike.

Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutentant, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Tuggey CBE DL presented the Inspirational Award to the Joint Winners Ursula Johannsen for her volunteering with Victim Support Gwent and Becca Couchman for her contribution to a wide range of Organisations including Community Connections, My Day, My Life Abergavenny, the Building Bridges Project and Monnow Vale Hospital and gave the Closing Remarks bringing the evening to an end.

The new County Council Chairman’s Award was introduced this year recognising the support from the Local Authority, presented by the Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Councillor Jim Higginson. This Award acknowledged the significant contribution made by an individual to the County and Lorna Corbin was a well-deserved winner with her dedication & incredible 30 years service to Bulwark Scouts Group.

Councillor Peter Fox, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council said ‘Monmouthshire County Council is proud to support the Monmouthshire Volunteer Achievement Awards. We value the efforts of volunteers in Monmouthshire who help the county to thrive. The event is an opportunity for us to say thank you to volunteers, also to recognise all of the groups and organisations that support volunteers across the county.’

Congratulations to all of the volunteers shortlisted who received Awards on the evening and a special mention for Michael J Harbinson, who after 13 years as GAVO Chair & 20 years in total as a GAVO Trustee, retired last month. Michael received a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by the Police & Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert and followed thanks from the newly elected GAVO Vice Chair, Graham Jones and GAVO Chair, Edward Watts.

GAVO would like to thank MCC for their support at this year’s Awards, the staff and volunteers at Caldicot Choir Hall, a wonderful venue. We would also like to give a special thanks to our sponsors who sent representatives to present the Awards and help celebrate the achievements of some very special people.

The continuing support of our sponsors New Grove Trust, British Airways, Go Compare, Gwent Police, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, enables us to make the event such a success for the wonderful volunteers year after year.

Anyone interested in getting involved in volunteering activities please contact the Monmouthshire Volunteer Centre on 01633 241566 or visit http://www.gavowales.org.uk/volunteering to find your nearest Volunteer Centre

For details of all the Award recipients click here!

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