Published Wednesday, 19th October 2022
Community heroes were rewarded for their volunteering efforts at Reigate & Banstead Volunteer Awards on Tuesday evening (18 October) with a special ceremony at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill.
The scheme, now in its nineteenth year, recognised the contributions and hard work of 50 individuals and groups for their volunteering efforts.
Individuals and groups were nominated in five different awards categories this year: Young Volunteer (aged under 25), Individual Volunteer, Individual Trustee and Team.
The Mayor of Reigate & Banstead, Cllr Frank Kelly, presented the winners with their certificates and thanked them for their hard work.
The Mayor said: “It was an honour to host these awards to celebrate and recognise the valuable, selfless work of so many individual volunteers and teams who dedicate themselves to enriching the lives of others in our community. Recent years have highlighted just how essential volunteers are for so many of us, and especially our more vulnerable residents. The efforts of these award winners serve as an inspiration to us all.”
The scheme is organised by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in partnership with Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead (VARB).
Alisdair Semple, Trustee of VARB, said: “Our nation is still going through difficult times which means volunteers are even more valuable than usual. We celebrate each and every one for all you do and congratulate our award winners. What volunteers give can be life changing for the people they help and is often good for the volunteers themselves. Thank you to all of you!”
Below is the full list of winners:
Young Volunteer Award - 4
- Alex Nunn (19), St Catherine’s Hospice - Alex began volunteering with the hospice when she was 14 for her Duke of Edinburgh award. She is now at university but still volunteers in the holidays
- Fin Wilsher (16), Merstham Cricket Club - Fin helps to coach the under 10’s team and is always willing to help with umpiring, scoring and setting up of matches.
- Luke Church (17), 7th Reigate Scout Group - Luke has been a young leader since he was 14. This year, he has stepped up to organise meetings in the absence of a warranted leader.
- Emily Rayner (18), 10th Redhill Brownies - Emily volunteers for 10th Redhill Brownies, 3rd Redhill Rainbows and 10th Redhill Guides and is a great role model
Individual Volunteer Award – 20
- Elaine Rollaston, 3rd Merstham Brownies - Elaine has run the group for over 10 years. During lockdown she organised zoom meetings, virtual sleepovers, challenges and activities.
- Maureen Elliott, St Catherine’s Hospice - Maureen volunteered in the shop for 12 years and has since made over 200 handmade fabric face masks and bunting to sell.
- Helen Bunn, Pathfinder Scout Group - Group Scout Leader at Pathfinder Scouts for four years, for both Beavers and Scouts, including running virtual meetings during the pandemic.
- Mike Griffin, Merstham Cricket Club - Mike is the heart of Merstham Cricket Club, holding many roles over 20 years.
- Elaine Penna, MHA Communities - Elaine helps with weekly lunch club for members in Redhill, alongside running the church café, as well as being instrumental fundraising activities. events.
- Caroline Richardson, 34th Reigate (Meadvale) Scout Group - Caroline has led fundraising efforts for the group since 2019.
- Anne Edney, Dyscover Ltd - Anne has been volunteered for 6 years helping in conversation support groups, supporting people with aphasia, and helping with activities that make a difference to members.
- Matt Leadbeater, Active Prospects - is passionate about fundraising and pre-Covid raised £11,000 for Children in Need. He has started volunteering for Active Prospects, never let his learning disability stand in his way.
- Maurice Owen, Age Concern Banstead - Maurice has been responsible for the charity’s fundraising activities for over 10 years, building relationships with businesses and raising the charity’s profile within the community.
- Janet Aslett, Merstham Mix - Janet has volunteered in the cafe since it opened, working in the kitchen and supporting other volunteers, as well as events, food collections and deliveries.
- Nikki Murrill, Brigitte Trust - Nikki has volunteered for almost 10 years, supporting a wide variety of clients and dealing with complex, challenging and sensitive issues.
- Alison Worsley, Brigitte Trust - Alison joined in 2019, calling clients weekly. Now also making visits in person she provides comfort and support to clients.
- Wendy Gregory, 30th Reigate Scout Group – Wendy’s volunteer roles are extensive including Leader of 30th Reigate Beavers, running the church youth group, cooking meals for the homeless and helping at an after-school tea club.
- Mo Atkins, Community Support in Tadworth & Walton-on-the-Hill - Mo sought and managed volunteers to help isolating households during the pandemic and delivered support. She is leader of The Walton Open Group, which raises funds for local good causes.
- Mike Fox, Tadworth & Walton Residents Association (TWRA) and Tattenham Library and Neighbourhood Watch - Mike has volunteered for many years for TWRA, Surrey Neighbourhood Watch, Tadworth Overseas Aid Trust and was instrumental in getting Tattenham Library run by volunteers and is a trustee.
- David Parsons, Sight for Surrey - David has volunteered has been a volunteer driver and helper at the Sight for Surrey Communications class since 2005.
- Jill Brockmeulen, Tadworth & Walton Residents Association - Jill was the secretary of the Tadworth and Walton Residents Association for many years and is a member of the committee, as well as the Jubilee Woodland Management Committee since 2010.
- Pat Jenkins, St John’s Ambulance - Pat joined in 2007 as a trainer, then became a trainer and volunteer. She also led the Redhill cadet unit. She was a lead volunteer trainer on the NHS/SJA vaccination training programme during the pandemic at the Redhill St John Centre.
- Darren Smith, Specialist Youth Work - Darren has volunteered for 66 years in a variety of roles. He founded Specialist Youth Work in November 2019 working with at-risk, children and young people, oversees Redhill Youth Club and was the R&B Duke of Edinburgh forum chairperson for 10 years supporting schools and youth centres.
- Sylvia Fraser, East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service - Sylvia has volunteered with ESDAS since 2011, supporting volunteers and clients of domestic abuse, and supporting clients at court hearings.
Individual Trustee Award – 7
- Jenny Benfield, Stripey Stork – Jenny has been Treasurer for seven years and has navigated the organisation from a small charity with a £10k income to a CIO with a cash income of nearly £400k per annum, as well as supporting the organization more widely.
- Mandy Dunn, Home-Start East Surrey - Mandy has been a trustee of Home-Start UK for 5 years, leads its fundraising strategy and is safeguarding lead.
- Kevin Smith, Pathfinder Scout Group - Kevin has been Chair of Trustees since 2017 and is actively involved in scouting in the group and district.
- Richard Stephen, Chairman, Reigate Priory Football Club - Richard started the youth football club in 2006 with one team of 16 boys at U12 age group. It now has 54 teams in the U9-U18 age group, as well as Saturday Soccer School for U5-U8's.
- Patricia Brookwick, Tadworth and Walton Residents Association - Patricia is an active member of TWRA, coordinates the Tadworth and Walton Tree Wardens group, and organises Tadworth Christmas lights and hanging baskets.
- Mary Da-Silva-Skinner, Sight For Surrey - In 2016 Mary decided she wanted to help others with sight loss and became a volunteer. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2017 and became the safeguarding lead. She also gives talks to schools with her guide dog.
- Helen Doling, Victoria Almshouses - Helen has been a Governor for three years, serving on the Welfare Committee. She attends coffee mornings and helps to resolve problems or signpost to other help. In lockdown Helen rang each of the Governors at least once a week to check on them.
Team Award – 19
- St Mark’s Food Club Volunteers – The 27-strong team not only run the food club but introduce members to local support organisations, flag up concerns and deliver food to those who can't access the venue, as coming up with fundraising ideas.
- Merstham Food Club Volunteer Team - set up the food like a shop, meet and greet members, and make it a friendly, helpful place to get for support, as well as affordable food.
- Redhill Dementia Lunch Club run by MHA Communities East Surrey the club runs weekly and supports those living with dementia as well as their partners/carers where they can chat, eat and enjoy take part in activities.
- Drivers Team for MHA Communities East Surrey – transport members, many of whom no longer drive and have access difficulties to the lunch club and activities such as coffee mornings, theatre trips and days out, helping to combat isolation.
- Redhill Food Club started during the pandemic. Volunteers help set up and distribute food to the needy members of the Redhill community and collect food from the donators.
- Furnistore – the team worked tirelessly during lockdown with the Council’s Housing team to deliver much needed furniture and household goods to those most in need.
- Woodhatch Food Club - redistributes food from Fareshare to local people needing to save on their household spending. Volunteers collect surplus food from local stores, set up and run the club and help manage the community fridge. Since January 2021, they have prevented over 10,000kg of food being wasted.
- Horley Food Club redistributes food that come from Fareshare, the Co-op and Morrisons to local people. They also sign-post people to other services for help, Since January 2021, they have distributed food to over a 5,600 people and prevented over 37,000kg of food being wasted.
- St Matthew’s Foodbank - worked throughout the pandemic to ensure those in need were catered for, often making home deliveries to ensure no one went hungry. They continue to provide food and advice for their growing customer base and have sent up a foodbank for local asylum seekers.
- Reigate Division Commissioners (Girl guiding) - Sonia and Emma manage volunteers, girls, and parents across Reigate, Redhill, Merstham and Horley, as well as running units in Redhill. They also led the redecoration of Empire and sought grant funding, making it a valuable community asset.
- Kingswood Support for Ukraine – led the village response, set up a collection hub for donations, organised volunteers, communicated the changing needs for support and delivered donated goods for onward transportation. They created support networks for Ukrainian guests and hosts and sourced equipment for host families.
- Mediation Surrey – the 80-stong team give their time, skills and experience to help Surrey residents resolve community and family disputes. Many also volunteer for the Support Coaching service, for residents experiencing antisocial behaviour. During the pandemic the team delivered an online service.
- Home Start East Surrey - based in Redhill, the team of 47 volunteers supports local families, visiting them for up to six months, offering emotional and practical support. During the pandemic 17 volunteers supported families via phone calls, Facetime or walk and talk visits outside.
- Growing Redhill - the group help local people and community groups to develop their growing skills and with tools, promote wildlife friendly and water-saving methods of gardening, distribute grants for community gardening, transform gardens in schools and hold plant sales and seed swaps,
- Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care - during a very difficult year with COVID, this committed and dedicated team covered the helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They continue to help Surrey residents concerned about substance misuse or mental wellbeing with compassion and understanding.
- Loveworks Garden Team – grow and harvest fruit and vegetables so service users receive fresh, nutritious food in their food parcels. The allotment is a space fby volunteers and service users to meet and grow friendships and was chosen as Santander’s ‘Splash Big Build Community Project 2022’, doubling the planting area and providing shaded seating.
- Susy Radio Outside Broadcast Team - for over 10 years Neil Munday and Jim Richman broadcast in their spare time for breakfast, afternoon and weekend listeners and from live events. Neil is also a voluntary Director, taking on a range of tasks, including relocation of the transmitter and selling advertising to fund the station.
- Include.org volunteers - 1 in 5 people in the UK has a communication difficulty. Include's Supported Volunteers use their lived experience of communication needs to help others and self-advocate, raising awareness of the rights of people with communication needs and helping to train the community in Makaton signing and The Mental Capacity Act, as well as things like the Include Choir rehearsals in Redhill.
- Banstead Village May Fayre Group – now in its 35th year it has raised £180,000 towards great causes. The committee work tirelessly to put on the event for the local community and work with business and others to raise funds for the event.
- The Mayor with all the award winners
- Additional imagery is available on request