Recognition for local volunteers

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Volunteers from across west Cheshire came together at Cheshire West Voluntary Action’s (CWVA) annual Volunteer Awards to celebrate all the work they do in the local community to make a real difference.

The Volunteer Awards are part of CWVA’s volunteering campaign and supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council, aiming to bust the myths around volunteering and encourage more people to support their local communities.

Nominations were opened earlier this year so people could put forward volunteers they felt deserved to be recognised for their work.

Nearly 100 nominations were whittled down to a shortlist for the panel, including Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council, to pick the following winners, which were presented by Jeannie France-Hayhurst, High Sheriff of Cheshire.

  • Inspirational Volunteer of the Year – Tomas Baggott (Dial West Cheshire)
  • Older Volunteer of the Year – Gerald Watts (Here and Now)
  • Younger Volunteer of the Year – Lucia Rigoglioso (The Joshua Tree)
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team of the Year – Hong Kong in Chester Committee
  • Team of the Year – Kids Bank Chester
  • Trustee of the Year – Sharon Shelbourne (Chapter Mental Health)

From top left: Kidsbank, Gerald Watts, Anne Hesketh

The CWVA team also picked Anne Hesketh for the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising the work she’s done for the deaf community over many years.

Council buildings across the borough were lit orange on the same day as CWVA’s Volunteer Awards to support the celebrations.

Councillor Gittins said: “Well done to everyone who has been nominated, shortlisted or won as part of CWVA’s Volunteer Awards.

“Volunteers are such a key part of our local communities and it’s important we recognise them for all the work they do.

“I was part of the panel and it was very difficult to choose between the different nominations as they’re all so inspiring.

“While it’s great to celebrate the winners, this is about recognising the work of all volunteers, who’ll play a key role this winter as people face cost of living challenges.

“I’d encourage anyone in the community to think about volunteering as not only is it rewarding, but you can gain a lot from it too.”

Don’t forget, CWVA’s volunteering platform has nearly 100 volunteering opportunities for you to apply for and you’re able to search by location, service area and more so you can find the ideal role for you.

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