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North West Volunteer of the Year

North West Volunteer of the Year

At the end of last year I described a Co-operative charity, StreetGames, that “aims to bring about positive change in deprived communities by bringing sport into young people’s immediate neighbourhoods”.

So I was interested to see a report in Pendle Today, a few days ago, announcing that the winner of StreetGames’ second North West Volunteer of the Year award, this year, was 19-year-old Mohammed Zubair Bashir, from Nelson. Zubair, who is currently studying BTEC Sport at Nelson and Colne College, has been described as a “dedicated and committed” volunteer at Pendle Leisure Trust, where he spends seven hours a week helping to deliver sessions that include primary school curriculum coaching, nursery bike riding and disability sports. His “natural ability to relate to all children” is said to have been a great asset in helping improve the lives of others within his community, which was why he was chosen from among the hundreds of nominees. Zubair received his award at a national ceremony in Manchester, where judges included BBC Sport editor Anna Thompson, as well as StreetGames and Co-operative representatives.

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Service Above Self

Service Above Self

A 10-year-old boy scout has been recognised for raising more than £10,000 for charity while also supporting his mother Carol.  Stephan Mendy, who joined First Twickenham (All Hallow) Scouts last January, has been raising money with collection buckets and by baking and selling cakes: he also persuaded his school to designate Help for Heroes as one of its supported charities.  Four weeks ago, at an event held at 14th Richmond “Viking” Scout Boating Centre and attended by new Richmond Mayor Councillor Meena Bond, County Commissioner Ian Newbery, and District Commissioner Mike Pain, Stephan was the proud recipient of the Len Smith Award… an annual award given to the person who best personifies the motto of “service above self”.

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Bournemouth Young Volunteers Awards

Bournemouth-Young-Vounteers

Volunteers – Luke, Olivia, Jordan and Ryan

Bournemouth 2026 Trust and Bournemouth Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), in collaboration with Bournemouth Council, are launching a new awards scheme to recognise the contributions made to the local community by hundreds of 13- to 21-year-olds. Under the Bournemouth Young Volunteers Awards scheme young people will receive certificates for the hours they serve in the community, at 20, 50, 100, 250 and 500 hours: certificates will also be awarded to young people who give of their time to help at one-off events. The intention is to ensure that every young person giving up their time to help others in Bournemouth receives recognition. An annual awards ceremony will be held early next year.

For further details and/or to make nominations, contact Helen Hender at Bournemouth CVS (01202 466130) or email youngvolunteers@bournemouth.cvs.org.

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Fundraising runs in the family

Fundraising runs in the family

A 17-year-old fundraiser has just received recognition from Cancer Research UK for his efforts in organising relay races to raise funds for the charity. Laurence Jewell from Cornwall was named Young Volunteer of the Year at a ceremony in London. Along with his mother Laura, who is chair of the organising committee, Laurence has been organising the local relay race for several years, and has been a member of the committee for the last three years. When he was just 14 he donated his Christmas and birthday money to purchase equipment for the race, so that 100% of the funds raised could go to the charity. He also organises the entertainment and says that he loves what he does, especially as he gets to meet survivors, and feels a particular sense of pride in his village during the 24 hours that the race is underway. Already, he is planning next year’s run, and dreaming up new fundraisers to precede and support the main event. A very committed young volunteer, indeed! Unfortunately, we don’t have a photo of the young lad to show you, on this occasion.

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Shine a light

Shine a light

A 21-year-old volunteer from Burnham-on-Sea, Essex (UK) has been honoured this week for his work in the local community. Jonathan Smith was crowned “shine a light volunteering champion” at an event organised by Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership to mark the 1st anniversary of  the Olympic torch’s arrival in Somerset. At the event, held at Perrott Hill School, Crewkerne, balloons were released by a crowd of 80 children, in recognition of Jonathan’s tireless community efforts, working with people with learning difficulties, organising Community Games and a Youth Festival weekend, and setting up and coordinating BOSH Youth Theatre… a group through which young people can become involved in drama, regardless of their finances.

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