Awards recognise the value of volunteers
Caudwell Children, one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, held a ‘Volunteer Awards’ ceremony at their recently opened Caudwell International Children’s Centre, on Keele Science and Innovation Park, on Wednesday 5th June, 2019.
The annual event celebrates the important role of volunteers to the charity and is held each year during Volunteers Week (1st-7th June).
Over 30 volunteers attended the event and enjoyed refreshments, presentations, and a tour of the state of the art building, the UK’s first independent centre dedicated to assessment, support and research into neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism.
Bobbies on Bikes for Children, a team of Staffordshire police officers, picked up the Team Spirit Award, for raising over £120,000, over the last six years, through their annual cycling event, whilst other winners included; Lisa Shardlow (Unsung Hero Award), Maureen Newby (Most Dedicated Volunteer Award), Sue Humphries (Rising Star Award) and Steve Marsh (Outstanding Volunteering Contribution).
Special Awards were also given to Rita Simmons, for nine years of volunteering, whilst Stephen Heath picked up an Award for 12 year’s service. Lindsey Joss was given an Award for her work with Caudwell Children’s Activity Clubs.
Megan Hayman Tansley, Volunteer Manager at Caudwell Children, was delighted to be able to recognise the charity’s volunteers in this way. As she explained: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of many charities and Caudwell Children is no different.
“It’s incredibly important to make sure that our volunteers are valued and these awards do just that.
“I would encourage anyone who has a little time on their hands to contact us to discover the opportunities that we have on offer.
“The children that we support get so much from our volunteers, but the volunteers also get so much back.”
Lyndsey Joss, from Beaconside, in Stafford, is encouraging more people to volunteer for the charity. As she explained: “I’ve been volunteering for over four years now and I understand how valuable my time is to the parents of disabled children as my 16-year-old son, Riley, has autism and epilepsy.
“He was diagnosed when he was four and because of the challenges he and the family have faced I know the difference that charities can make to children’s lives.
“I’ve volunteered on fully assisted holidays, for children with life limiting conditions, and more recently helped to run the activity clubs for Caudwell Children and I’ve seen how much participants have benefited from them.”
Lyndsey, aged 36, was attracted to volunteering for Caudwell Children because of the breadth of their work. She said: “Many charities concentrate on one particular illness, like cancer or heart disease, but Caudwell Children have supported children with over 650 different conditions.
“I’ve really enjoyed being given the level of trust to organise the activity clubs and the children love them as many rarely get the chance to get out of the house, make new friends, and have fun.”
Lyndsey says that she gets a lot of satisfaction from working with fellow volunteers. As she enthused: “I enjoy working with new volunteers, of any age or background, as I can use my experience as a parent to make them feel at ease with lots of excitable children.”
You can find out more about volunteering for Caudwell Children here.