The event was held in Oxford Town Hall and we would like to thank:
Since cancelling a ski trip to celebrate his 21st birthday in favour of driving donated food, water and sleeping bags to Ukraine in the aftermath of the Russian invasion, Fynn has created a highly effective, targeted, long-term programme of support. With the support of family, friends and the local community he has so far raised over £150,000, organised the purchase and delivery of 31 operational vehicles, helped 101 Ukrainians reach the UK, sent 3 reconditioned ambulances which now operate as mobile clinics, delivered 4 million litres of water, and recruited an army of 90 volunteers to help him.
The judges were inspired by Fynn’s extraordinary efforts and were particularly impressed by his outstanding leadership qualities, including his ability to build a large team of volunteers. His remarkable achievements, at such a young age and without the support of a backing organization, set Fynn apart and made him a deserving recipient of this award
Amber has been volunteering with Nai’s House, which offers mental health support to young people in Bicester, since 2019.
She has made a profound impact on the lives of the young people she supports, as evidenced by the testimonial of one of the families she works with, who said ‘Amber continues to go above and beyond to support my daughter as well as always being there for me and my partner. We cannot ever thank her enough for everything she has done.’
Despite her own health challenges, Sarah is a key member of the Botley Bikers, a group of people who deliver food and clothes by bike to people experiencing homelessness around Oxford city.
As well as making regular deliveries by bike, Sarah also buys food, organises people to knit hats and blankets, and joins in car-based deliveries of clothes and food. She was praised by the person who nominated her for her enthusiasm and empathy, who noted that she always remembers the names and interests of all the people who Botley Bikers serve.
Sarah’s outlook on life, her perseverance, and her unwavering dedication exemplify the spirit of volunteering and serve as an inspiration to others.
Sâmân is the driving force behind the Botley Community Kitchen, which uses surplus food to supply the local area with free curry three times a week; the West Oxford Community Larder, one of the largest community larders in Oxfordshire; and Feelgood Bikes, which renovates and donates cycles to people who need them.
The person who nominated Sâmân said: ‘Nothing is ever too much trouble – he is genuinely the most selfless person I have ever met and gives of his time and own money without thought.
Rachel has been volunteering with groups working with children and young people for 34 years. She volunteers several times a week for Sweatbox Youth Centre, Team Mikayla (a charity granting wishes for children fighting cancer) and as a Girl Guiding leader.
At Sweatbox, she has been instrumental in developing the Topaz group for young people in the LGBTQ+ community and volunteers for the Beatbox group for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
She is a founding member and active trustee of Team Mikayla and is also a Brownie and Guide Leader for the 1st Hanney Guides.
She does all of this while working, looking after her own extended family, and managing a health condition. Her nominator said: ‘Rachel never expects thanks or recognition, she happily gives her time, effort and enthusiasm freely and openly. Rachel deserves this award as recognition for all she does for so many people in our community.’
Steve has been a founding member, committee member, and activity organizer for Bicester Green Gym, a group of volunteers looking after the green spaces of Bicester, since 2006.
His commitment to Bicester Green Gym is such that he is now Life Chairman of the group. At the age of 80, he still endeavours to volunteer every week.
The judges were impressed by Cholsey Volunteers impactful work in their local community, but what really truly stood out was the organisation’s exceptional commitment to the well-being of its 200 volunteers.
Cholsey Volunteers fosters a supportive environment and works hard to ensure that volunteers are happy. This dedication to volunteer welfare sets an outstanding example for all organisations who rely on volunteers.
Bicester Green Gym’s nomination highlighted the organisation’s ability to identify the benefits of their project and support volunteers in sharing their joy and passion.
Bicester Green Gym’s voluntary-led approach and their focus on creating social opportunities that benefit everyone involved were truly commendable.