Community Gems celebrated at Dudley Volunteer Awards 2016 @DudleyCVS @WeAreBCR

kgp_5238Dudley CVS are incredibly honoured to have hosted their 14th annual Dudley Volunteer Awards 2016 to recognise the amazing, inspirational people who generously devote their time to volunteer in the Dudley Borough. These people are truly worth there weight in gold and gems of the community.

Around 300 people attended the event at the beautifully decorated ‘gold themed’ Brierley Hill Civic Hall to celebrate volunteering and the difference it has made to the community, including the Mayor of Dudley and Volunteering Champion, Cllr Mohammed Hanif. The Mayor said:

‘…amazing evening full of great achievements right across our Borough.’ 

kgp_5063The first award of the evening, the Business Supporting the Community Award was presented to Sara Morris, Asda Community Champion, for her passionate contribution to the community. Sara’s achievements have included organising activities for young people in the Coseley area and arranging donations to the local food bank. Sara goes above and beyond for the community and her unwavering and enthusiastic support to good causes and individuals has made a real difference in the Coseley area. Adam Cook from the Copthorne Hotel presented the award.

The Highly Commended Award in this category went to Higgs & Sons, quoted by their nominator as “simply head and shoulders above others locally and Corporate Social Responsibility is part of their business DNA.”

Karl Denning, Dudley SOUP active citizen, won the Community Action Award presented by Chief Superintendent Richard Fisher of the West Midlands Police. Karl’s passion for the community led him to become an active member of Dudley SOUP, a group supporting creative community projects via shared meals, volunteering on activities including gardening and DIY projects. Andy Mullaney, Business Connector and nominator said, “Karl adds a real energy and vibrancy to the group”. Karl is also visually impaired, and accompanied by his faithful guide dog Quasi, he regularly gives talks to schools about the challenges he has faced helping children to understand adversity.

The Highly Commended Award in this category went to DIYYA, a team who devote their time to tackle the rising concerns and issues that affect isolation, poor health and lack of community cohesion and activities in their area.

Jane Grainger, Dudley Carers Forum, won the Healthy Communities Award. Jane, who has been a carer for over 30 years, has devoted many hours of her time to support other carers. Since creating the Carers to Carers helpline via the Dudley Carers Forum back in 2005 she has acted as the Vice Chair and Treasurer. Jane has been heavily involved in the forums social programme, helping to organise trips and activities, assisting at Carers Week and cheering up carers with her very special kind of humour. Jane also volunteers for Dudley Carers Writing Group and is a member of the Wordsley Amateur Dramatics Society. Neill Bucktin, Director of Commissioning, Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group presented the award.

The Highly Commended Award in this category went to Andrew Evans, Dudley Stop Smoking Service, highly respected by individuals and health professionals due to his time volunteering to help people stop smoking.

Steve and Tracey Bull, Big CHAOS, won the Wellbeing Award, for their volunteering work planning and delivering activities to help young people with disabilities in the borough. They have successfully created a family atmosphere providing happiness to everyone that they come in to contact with, helping young people to make friends, develop confidence and participate in sports groups. Chief Superintendent Richard Fisher of the West Midlands Police presented the award.

Sally Evans, Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company, won the Arts and Heritage Award presented by Councillor Judy Foster. Sally has been a member of the theatre company since she was 15 and has been enthusiastically involved in productions and choreography. During her 8 years at the theatre, Sally has devoted many hours of her time to help children and adults combat low self-esteem and confidence.

Steve Ford, Dudley Group of Hospitals, won the Children and Families Award, for the support he gives to children and families and the huge amounts of money he has raised for charity. Steve has volunteered for over 30 years, now suffering with poor heath he still manages to visit the children at least twice a week at the hospital, granting their wishes such as working with animals. Steve is widely known for his admirable character and is very highly regarded as a truly inspirational and humble human being with a very contagious smile. Tony Oakman, Strategic Director People Services at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, presented the award and said:

‘What a privilege to present the award to Steve Ford an incredible person with a great sense of humour – priceless’

The Highly Commended Award in this category went to Martin Francis, Brierley Hill Musical Theatre Company, volunteering his time to help raise the confidence, self-esteem and aspirations of over 100 young people at the theatre.

The Sporting Champion Award was awarded to Paul Gough for his efforts in the development of local sports club, Priory Boxing Club, following the vision to extend and improve facilities. Paul secured a substantial amount of funding for the club, engaged local people and managed the delivery of the construction phase of the project. The club is now a much larger modern space, specific to the sport but also available for use to the wider community. Paul’s strenuous work has increased membership and encouraged more people from the community to get involved, also helping individuals to progress to elite levels in their sport. Sarah Norman, Chief Executive of Dudley Council, presented the award.

The Highly Commended Award in this category went to Harilal Patel, Stourbridge Cricket Club, who has massively improved the quality of the ground and developed key relationships for the club. Inclusive Sports Volunteers, Dudley MBC Sports & Physical Activity Services/CHAOS, were also highly commended in this category for their work providing social physical activity sessions for the borough’s children and young people with disabilities.

The next award, the Ray McGuirk Young Volunteer Award, was presented to George Langford and Harry Gibbons, 1st Coseley Scout Group. George and Harry eagerly organise events, help raise funds and look after welfare of others during activities. They are now at the glorious age of 18 and have both progressed in to leadership roles going above and beyond for the group. John Cook of Amblecote Christian Centre and Black Country Foodbank announced the award.

The Highly Commended Award in this category went to Marissa Evans and Holly Westwood, CHAOS, and also Primrose Hill Community Church Youth Team, for their good work serving the community.

The last award of the evening went to Dave Brownhill, Black Country Festival/Black Country Radio/Dudley Hospital Radio, who won the Gordon Lindsay Award for long service. This award was presented in recognition of Dave’s long term commitment to volunteering. Dave has benefited the community by giving his time to support in a variety of areas including setting up Dudley Hospital Radio, helping to develop Black Country Radio and also his involvement with the Black Country Festival. Dave is passionate about helping the organisations he looks after to succeed and is highly regarded for making them feel more secure in the work that they are doing. The award was presented by Richard Boot, OBE, Deputy Lieutenant.

During the night there were very special and memorable performances from talented musicians, Danny Miller and the Gentleman Songsters Choir.

The event reached great heights on social media appearing 9th on Twitter’s top trending list.

Dudley CVS are now looking forward to next year’s Awards to celebrate volunteering in the Dudley Borough.

Why not visit this year’s Dudley Volunteer Awards blog to see the photos, films and stories from this year’s amazing volunteers?

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