The Volunteer Awards

The nominees for the Volunteer Awards 2017 are listed below, the winners can be found by scrolling further down the page. Enjoy reading!

Volunteer Nominees:

Alex Mates
In November 2015 Alex founded the Oxford Circular Collective and her commitment to preserving resources has seen her collaborate with Student Hubs to recycle used café coffee grounds for compost and she is now leading the CAG network.

Andy Sharp
Andy’s volunteering (over 1250 hours!) has seen him draw on skills developed from a career in IT consultancy to enable the charity Against Breast Cancer to better engage with their supporters, secure funding and work more efficiently as a team.

Anna Lopes
Anna was nominated by Ark T for her commitment over the past year to the Play Spaces afterschool art club for young people experiencing challenging circumstances. Anna’s reliability, positivity, willingness to help and creative ideas are valued by all at the centre.

Betty Smith
Betty has been volunteering at the Oxford Swans Swimming club for the past 7 years and has a good rapport with swimmers of all ages; making her a much valued member of the club.

Christine Williams
Christine has been a reading helper at Farringdale Infants School for more than 17 years and was one of the founding trustees of ARCh. Christine has not only worked patiently to encourage and enthuse children about reading but provided ongoing reassurance and support to others.

Clara Barker
Clara joined the volunteer team at the Pitts River Museum to reinterpret items for the Out in Oxford trail, broadening the reach of the trail among LGBTQ+ groups and raising the trail’s profile in interviews for BBC Oxford.

Corin Gouede
Corin volunteers for World Fountain Christian Ministries in Cowley – a charity which provides support to immigrants and refugees settling in Oxford. Corin is being recognised particularly for his leadership of the media team, equipping them with the skills in sound recording.

Eva Brownlee
Ronald McDonald House have nominated Eva in recognition of all she does: from welcoming families to the house to taking on fundraising challenges – this year climbing in Russia with her daughter. Eva’s willingness to turn her hand to anything makes her a core and valued member of the team.

Francesca Cavallari
Francesca was nominated by PACT for commitment to the Bounce Back 4 Kids Programme, targeting children and their families affected by domestic abuse in Oxfordshire. Francesca has maintained a weekly commitment to the charity – recognising the importance of avoiding disruption.

Frank Whiting
Frank has been the treasurer of SSAFA ‘The Armed Forces Charity’ in Oxfordshire for over 30 years. In that time he has been responsible for overseeing the financial management of the 3 divisions of the Oxfordshire branch; playing a central role in introducing a national computer system.

Ian Kennedy
Ian has been nominated by Archway in recognition of his willingness to support the charity. In addition to his role as a befriender and providing transport to Archway members, Ian is a regular presence and has bravely taken on the challenge of doing a fundraising abseil.

Jackie Edwards
Jackie founded the voluntary car scheme in Chalgrove called CHATS in 2001. The scheme provides a lifeline in the community, taking local residents to medical appointments at the hospital and local surgery and on nursing home visits.

James Bennett
James has been nominated by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History for the lengths he has gone to, to share his knowledge and love of science through events and activities which are accessible, interactive and most importantly fun!

Judy Wood
Judy has volunteered at Archway since the year 2000 and takes an active role in the work of the charity – attending the weekly social and support groups as well as being a dedicated befriender to the many service users she has supported over the years.

Julia Cato
Julia volunteers for Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary, willingly helping out wherever she can. She makes both visitors and volunteers feel welcome and she is an excellent ambassador for the charity.

Kathleen Luker
Kathleen has been involved in volunteering in Harwell – for the local history and art groups, the village hall and Alms House Trust and she is clearly a go to person in the village. She is pivotal as a trustee of the village hall and has overseen the rebuilding and renovation of the hall – costing £1.3 million.

Kenneth Membury
Kenneth has been involved in brass bands almost all his life and has served as Chairman, Vice Chairman and now Honorary Life President of the Oxfordshire and District Brass Band Association.

Lara Gracie
Lara joined St Johns Care Home as a volunteer last August. She visits each week and spends time chatting and reading with the residents, and taking them for walks in the garden. She has recently started to run the Home’s ‘shop’ – selling items to residents who cannot get out to the local shop.

Laurence Hutton-Smith
In just under a year, Laurence has donated over 100 volunteer hours to the homeless charity OxHoP where he assists in the kitchen helping to prepare meals.

Maia Little
Maia is just 15 years old and one of the youngest instructors at Oxford Swans Swimming Club. Her calm, encouraging approach makes her popular with everyone.

Mary Carroll
Mary’s volunteering for Oxford Swans Swimming Club began in 1977 when she volunteered as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. She returned 17 years ago as a volunteer instructor and has been helping each week since.

Megan Chapell
Megan has volunteered for Restore since 2011 supporting those with mental health problems back into work and creating a Stay Well at Work package to support people entering the workplace.

Ray Kinch
Ray has been a Bridewell Organic Gardens volunteer for 16 years, supporting service users in the garden – encouraging them and building confidence as they tackle pruning, mowing and harvesting.

Rachel Partlett
Rachel has been involved with Dovecote Voluntary Parent Committee for 18 years and in that time has built strong relationships with the community, enabling the work of the committee to go from strength to strength.

Richard Brooke
Richard was nominated Rethink for his commitment. Richard supports over 15 people in his role as a befriender – which means he volunteers almost every day of the week! Richard has helped to raise awareness and fundraise for Rethink; including completing a sponsored walk raising over £400.

Sally May
Sally’s caring and generous nature is hugely appreciated by the staff, residents and their families at Brookfield Care Home where Sally has volunteered each week since the beginning of last year. Her willingness to help out wherever she is needed makes her an invaluable member of the team.

Selena Furth
Selena has been a Samaritans volunteer since 2008, supporting people who feel in distress and despair. She has been a consistently reliable member of the team.

Sheila Harris
Sheila has volunteered for Home Start in Banbury for 7 years and during that time she has changed the lives of 10 local families through her commitment and compassion. Sheila has built supportive relationships with families from all backgrounds due to being non-judgemental and accepting.

Steve Gerrish
Steve has volunteered for Climate Outreach for over 8 years, providing essential behind the scenes support each week to the charity.

Steve Mansell
Steve has been a trustee for My Life My Choice for 5 years; a role which has seen him represent the charity at 10 Downing Street! Steve’s continued commitment to the charity is seen through the positive impact he has made at the Wantage Self Advocacy Group and the fundraising he has done.

Sue Gokgor
Sue was not only the very first Full Circle volunteer 15 years ago, but also the inspiration behind the charity which brings different generations together through shared activities each week in schools. Her kind, patient, positive presence has helped nurture and build confidence in the children who attend.

Tessa Farley
Tessa has volunteered for Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire for the past 6 years, over which time she has become an experienced advisor as well as a representative on the trustee board.

Tina Hepworth
Tina has supported two individuals struggling with mental health needs to access sport and physical activity by going swimming with them at their local leisure centre each week as part of the Active Body Healthy Mind programme.

Tom Ryan
Tom is a committed volunteer at the Yellow Submarine weekly youth club sessions and is a great role model for the young members of the group, as well as being an innovative fundraiser for the charity.

Valerie Clark
Valerie is a dedicated supporter of Chipping Norton Theatre and introduced ‘Friends only’ events to encourage membership retention. She has also taken on the role of Chair of the new events committee.

Zoe Hibberd
Zoe is on the leadership team at Woodstock Youth Club and plays a pivotal role in ensuring the club is a success and that all who attend enjoy it.

Oxfordshire Young Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust:

Runners up: Ahd Hassan and Sophia Lomulo, Oxford Against Cutting
Ahd and Sophia, both students at Cherwell School, have been nominated for the awareness raising work they have undertaken for Oxford Against Cutting; highlights of which include writing and delivering a presentation to over 200 people at a Department of Health conference, creating their own film about FGM in collaboration with two young film makers at their school and facilitating a youth advocacy event in Rose Hill for FGM survivors and key stakeholders. Their activities have sensitively increased awareness of FGM in schools and beyond and we recognise this by awarding them both a special certificate in celebration of their considerable achievements.

Winner: Ollie Pentz, Lady Nuffield Home
Ollie is just 16 years of age and volunteers at Lady Nuffield Home for the elderly. He attends each week and runs a popular crossword club – the most popular activity at the Home. Everyone at the home acknowledges that he is a star and one resident writes that they would be lost without him.

Special Award, Commitment to Community Fundraising – sponsored by Oxfordshire Community Foundation:

Winner: Trish Wagstaff
Whilst nominated by fellow members of female acapella group, Harmony Inspires, Trish’s fundraising activity extends far beyond this group. In fact she began fundraising just aged 10 during the war and has gone on to complete zip-wires, paraglides, skydives and even swum with sharks in order to raise funds for Oxfordshire charities: including Sobell House Hospice, Age UK, Oxfordshire Befriending for Life service – all of which she has volunteered for in other capacities too. Since 2008, Trish has raised just over £100,000 and we would like to recognise her efforts with this special certificate for commitment to community fundraising.

Long Service Award – sponsored by Oxfordshire Community Foundation:

Winner: Irene Andrews (Sobell House)
Irene has volunteered with Sobell House Hospice for 27 years, initially as part of the Bereavement Team and currently with Day Services. During this time the Hospice has changed the way it provides patient support and Irene has adapted to these changes – attending training so that she is able to help in the most effective way. Irene has been nominated for the long service award in recognition of the incredible support she provides to patients and their families, for her ability to use her initiative and just get on with whatever is needed, and for her support and encouragement to new volunteers in the Day Service. Irene’s contribution to the work of the hospice, its development and most importantly the lives of patients and families is vital, and for this reason we are delighted to award her the Long Service Award for 2017.

Oxfordshire Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Oxfordshire Community Foundation:

Runner up: Mechelle Lawfull, Oxfordshire Association for the Blind
Michelle’s involvement in Oxfordshire Association for the Blind has grown over the past 3 years and she has become an indispensable member of the team; being involved in many aspects of the charities work. Behind the scenes Michelle contacts the charities clients, updating records and providing telephone support, in addition to providing companionship as a volunteer home visitor each week and volunteering to drive visually impaired people and their carers to the ActivEyes social group. This practical support, as well as Michelle’s warm and friendly manner, is directly combatting social isolation and loneliness amongst Visually Impaired People in Oxfordshire and for this reason we would like to acknowledge her contribution with a special certificate, celebrating her commitment.

Winner: Hassan Sabrie, East Oxford United Football Club
Hassan is Chairman and Coach of East Oxford United Football Club and has worked tirelessly to develop the club. Hassan’s encouragement and inclusive approach is engaging the whole community in the club; inspiring those facing inequality and disadvantage to participate. Hassan has mentored a group of young volunteer coaches from refugee and migrant communities to overcome barriers and volunteer, arranged for local families to attend an Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra Concert and this summer is co-ordinating a football tour for East Oxford’s children and parents to Perm in Russia.

His commitment to his volunteering is creating an inclusive hub and in turn increasing opportunities and life chances for some of the most disadvantaged people in Oxford and for this reason we are delighted to award him OCVA’s Volunteer of the Year for 2017.


Congratulations to all of you!