Innovation  –                                                                                   

Makespace Oxford


In 2015, a small group of community-led and socially-driven organisations, struggling to find the space in which to fix, build, work and make an impactcame together to try a new approach. They formed Makespace Oxford, a Community Interest Company to find innovative ways of bringing empty and underused buildings back into use as an affordable community working and making space.

Sponsored by: Oxfordshire LEP is delighted to support local communities across the county and proud to sponsor the Innovation Award. Innovation is the key to success in all areas of the community and we will continue to work to achieve our shared goals.


Best New Group –                                                               

Sanctuary Hosting


Sanctuary Hosting matches homeless asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants to people in the community with spare rooms and open hearts, to stay rent free for an agreed period of time. Sanctuary Hosting has helped people from 19 different countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Syria , Turkey & Zimbabwe.

Sponsored by:  Jennings / Monument Community Trust 

Image result for jennings oxford logo  The event is a great celebration of the voluntary sector and recognises the amazing work, services and support that the volunteers, charities and community groups provide. As one of the original sponsors, we love being involved with these awards and are fascinated to hear the great things  that are being achieved. We are sponsoring the Best New Group Award.



Best Group in the Vale of White Horse –                                   

The Abingdon Bridge


The Abingdon Bridge (TAB) is leading the way in championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people across the South and Vale area. Their counselling team work with about 100 different young people per year. TAB also supports about 700 students within the local secondary schools, delivering education and workshops aimed at increasing young people’s resilience around healthy lifestyles including drugs and alcohol and staying safe online. In addition, TAB supports about 40 different young people a year through our healthy lifestyles mentoring  programme.

Sponsored by: Vale of White Horse District Council

As sponsors of this new award ‘Best Group in the Vale of White Horse’, we are delighted to recognise a group – large or small, new or old – who can evidence that they have made a significant impact.


Long Service Volunteer Award –             

Jean Mander, Thame Society for the Visually Impaired 

Jean, a Thame resident, has a long-standing involvement for 40 years with the Thame Society for the Visually Impaired group, as well for her local fundraising for the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the Guide Dogs Association. Thame Society for the Visually Impaired is an independent branch of the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind and a not-for-profit charity which provides support and information services for individuals and families who are living with blindness.

Jean has been involved with this group since it was formed in September 1978 through supporting group members in a variety of craft, musical and informative activities. In 2013, Jean became Group Leader where she now prepares and organises all meetings and activities, including arranging transport, with support from a number of generous volunteers. Jean also telephones and visits those who cannot come to the group to check how they are doing and to provide emotional support. The Deputy Mayor of Thame, Cllr Linda Emery, also a volunteer with this group, nominated Jean for this award.     

Sponsored by:     Activate Learning                                                

Activate Learning is delighted to sponsor the Long Service Volunteer Award.

Young Volunteer of the Year Award –           

Jackie Hibberd, Woodstock Youth Club

Woodstock Youth Club is a self-funded club that has been running continuously since the 1960s. The club is open to 8 to 16 year olds providing social, sports and creative activities for the kids of Woodstock and the surrounding villages. They are a registered charity run by volunteers and trustees.  Jackie voluntarily goes above and beyond anyone’s expectations in contributing to the smooth operation of the Woodstock Youth Club. She continuously encourages innovative ideas for a balance of activities to interest groups of boys, girls and integration of both.

Sponsored by: National Citizen Service

As providers of volunteer opportunities for young people, we are delighted to sponsor the Young Volunteer of the Year Award.

Working Together Award                                                        

Oxtalk working with Oxfordshire Association for the Blind

The charity Oxtalk, founded in 1979, was thought up by a group of people who realised that there was a need for the local news to become more accessible to those with impaired vision and it provides a weekly talking newspaper for the visually impaired.  Oxtalk recently needed a new home and Oxfordshire Association for the Blind (OAB) offered their premises as a base. This has established a “very good partnership” in the words of Chair Margaret Simpson (who is also on the board of OAB). It has helped to gain more volunteers who work with both organisations.

On winning the Working Together Award, Colin Cure from OAB said that the organisation was thrilled to receive an award that “acknowledges and celebrates our work with Oxtalk”. Similarly, Margaret was “absolutely delighted” for the group to be recognised.

Sponsored by: Heyford Park

We are proud to sponsor the Working Together Award rewarding joint working between the private and the voluntary sector.  Heyford Park is a great believer of real collaboration between all stakeholders from the private and voluntary sector working in partnership to benefit the community.  We are now immersed in a programme that will make the Heyford Park Community a great village environment that will create the perfect place to live and work.

Best Group in West Oxfordshire

Volunteer Link Up


Volunteer Link-Up is the Volunteer Centre for West Oxfordshire, linking people who have time to spare with opportunities to help local residents and charitable organisations that need their services. Volunteer Link-Up (West Oxon) also works with organisations to develop volunteering opportunities, ensuring high standards in volunteer management. Volunteer Link-Up (West Oxon) was founded in 1983 by Nikki Chase; in 1996 Volunteer Link-Up moved its office to the Methodist Church Centre.

 Sponsored by: West Oxfordshire District Council
As sponsors of this new award ‘Best Group in West Oxfordshire’, we are delighted to recognise a group – large or small, new or old – who can evidence that they have made a significant impact to their local community.

Environmental Award         

Sustainable Didcot

 ‘Winning the Environment Award was absolutely fantastic, and we really appreciate the recognition of our activities. We have now run three Repair Cafes and each one takes about 20 volunteers to run, helping people fix their broken household items. The response from the community so far has been wonderful, with such a great atmosphere at each event. We hope to use the award to gain extra support, and to spur us on to continue to expand our activities to make Didcot a greener and more sustainable place to live.’


Sponsored by: Oxford Bus Company
As one of the UK’s greenest bus companies, we always do our very best to care for the planet and the environment.  We’ve been at the heart of Oxford for 135 years, so we are delighted to support those who work tirelessly for our community. We are sponsoring the Environmental Award.



Best Group in South Oxfordshire & Volunteer of the Year Awards 

South Stoke Community Shop

Mick Woodall, Chairman of South Stoke Community Shop Board:  “What an evening, what an honour, what a delight! Congratulations to Nicky Kennedy and to all the volunteers at South Stoke Shop. We have always said that the shop is more than just about trading profitably, it’s a community in itself and it enriches the community.”

Nicky:  “I am absolutely thrilled. All along this has been a team effort and none of it would be possible without our wonderful team of volunteers.”

The shop has used 59 volunteers in the past 5 years of operation and have 40 active volunteers currently.  They cover 50 hours in the shop each week, over 2,500 hours each year. Add in the local events and the Board’s hours and there are over 3,000 hours of volunteer time annually.

The shop is more than a place to buy last minute milk and eggs. It supports local businesses like the local butcher, baker and farm shop. It also complements the playground on the Recreation ground, offering hot drinks, ice creams and toilet facilities. It has become an essential part of the community, bringing people closer together.

Sponsored by:

South Oxfordshire District Council
As sponsors of this new award, ‘Best Group in South Oxfordshire’, we are delighted to recognise a group – large or small, new or old – who can evidence that they have made a significant impact.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
We are delighted to sponsor the Oxfordshire Volunteer of the Year Award as we can see the long term benefits of nurturing volunteers.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Gatehouse



“This is a huge honour for The Gatehouse, and a massive pat on the back for all Gatehouse volunteers past and present. OCVA Awards are all about recognising the dedication and tireless efforts of volunteers, and all I can say is that it is definitely well-deserved by our marvellous team, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to provide essential support for the homeless and vulnerably housed in Oxford in the way that we have for the past 30 years.”

Sponsored by Clark Howes

Many people and organisations dedicate time to helping a variety of causes for much needed support. We are sponsoring the Lifetime Achievement Award.


Management of Volunteers 

Home-Start Oxford



Our 3 part-time Coordinators recruit, train, support, manage and maintain a team of approximately 35 volunteers who each give 2-4 hours per week supporting vulnerable families in Oxford City. Without dedication and effective management from these three leaders, our volunteers would be unable to do the work they do. We are a self-reflective team who aim never to rest on our laurels, regularly updating training materials and opportunities, delivering the service with energy and compassion for all. Volunteers speak with their feet. 37% of volunteers have been with us 5+ years – testament to the strong relationships we build. 14% for 10+ years, plus two longstanding volunteers of 18 and 20 years’ service! We ask for a big commitment from our volunteers; they can expect the same from us – to have our excellence recognised in the area of managing volunteers feels very special indeed.

Every year, almost 2000 Oxford Brookes students volunteer regularly in the local community in a wide range of activities. The benefit to the community and to the development of the students is invaluable. We are sponsoring the Management of Volunteers Award.

Best Group in Cherwell  

 The Sunshine Centre

We were overwhelmed when the Lord Lieutenant announced The Sunshine Centre as the winner. It was a very proud moment to collect the award on behalf of all the children and families, community groups and all the people and organisations which we are involved with , past and present. This community I hope feels very proud of what they have achieved over the past 20 years.

The very next day we posted a photograph of the certificate and glass trophy on our web and Facebook pages congratulations everyone. The comments we have received have been truly amazing. We have always believed in this community and the need for The Sunshine Centre for us this confirmed everything and has given us even more determination to secure funds for the years ahead.

Thank you Cherwell District Council for this recognition.

As sponsors of this new award, ‘Best Group in Cherwell’, we are delighted to recognise a group – large or small, new or old – who can evidence that they have made a significant impact to their local community.




Charity of the Year sponsored by Oxfordshire County Council


  ARCh – Assisted Reading for Children in Oxford      

“Being awarded OCVA Charity of the Year in 2018 is the perfect way to celebrate the  10th anniversary of ARCh. In the last decade around 6,000 children have been inspired to read by ARCh Reading Helpers. The award will help to spread the word on the charity’s work and to engage more members of the community in helping the county’s children become literate for life.”

For more information about ARCh, see their website: