Northumberland volunteers recognised for their efforts at awards night
Volunteers and local organisations who go the extra mile to support their community have been recognised.
The annual North Northumberland Voluntary and Community Award were held at the Black and Gold in Tweedmouth.
President Lord Joicey welcomed everyone and thanked David McCreath from the McCreath Simpson Fund for funding the awards evening for the third year.
Grassroots – Berwick Education Association
Established in April 2014 Berwick Education Association has gone from strength to strength, offering courses and day schools open to everyone and covering a wide variety of topics, largely classroom-based with some field trips. The BEA is a self-funded, not-for profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. The BEA has made a significant contribution to the educational and social opportunities available to the area.
Organisation of the Year – Hospice Care
Established in 1995, Hospice Care is the main provider of palliative care in North Northumberland, providing support for adults with life-limiting illnesses and for their families and carers. Wellbeing Centres at Alnwick and Berwick, serve a community of around 63,000. Through a team of over 200 volunteers and supported by medical and counselling staff, patients and their families are provided with services including home care, short-term respite, expert end of life care, an Admiral Nurse for those living with advanced dementia, a bereavement service, weekly drop-in sessions and a monthly Information and Advice Hub offering free, practical, emotional, financial and social support to those living with a life-limiting disease.
Volunteer of the Year – Lynne Pringle
Lynne pops up throughout Glendale in a wide range of voluntary activities. In the past year or so, Lynne has chaired Wooler Neighbourhood Plan Group. It was Lynne who introduced the idea of a Community Christmas Day for Glendale. She is an aficionado of the ukulele, playing and encouraging others to learn to play.
Youth Volunteer of the Year – Lewis Bruin
Lewis had a rough start in life – born 6 weeks premature, he had to spend his first 2 weeks in a special care baby unit. In 2012, aged 7 he had a cardiac arrest and “died” for 40 minutes. Medical staff worked hard and here he is today. Although he has some brain damage, balance issues and severe learning difficulties and an ongoing heart condition, Lewis takes a really active role in the local Scout troop – helping out at Camp and other events, setting an example for cubs and beavers, telling people about his experiences and promoting the values of Scouting.
Local Business Award - Hunting Hall Farm
This family business is a centre of excellence for its green credentials including holiday cottages and a shepherd’s hut with low carbon footprints; organic farming and rare breed pigs; stunning planting; and accessible and way-marked walks and open days for visitors. Lowick Community Orchard on the edge of the village is home to a wide range of rare fruit trees. The old piggeries are transformed into a meeting and conference space with full disabled access. And there’s an education programme for all ages.
The Lady Rose Crossman Life Time Achievement Award - Lesley Stephenson
Volunteering for more than a dozen years, Lesley has been involved with the Headways Group since it was first formed as a branch in Berwick and is currently its treasurer and fundraiser. With her enthusiasm and support, she’s always on hand at monthly meetings, organising therapy sessions, catering dietary needs, a monthly raffle and themed meetings. She’s a councillor on Berwick Town Council and, keen to improve the environment, takes part in beach cleans. She organises the annual Charity and Community Fair in the Guild Hall.
Lord Joicey rounded up the evening with a big thank you to those attending and for playing such an important role in our communities – without volunteers it just wouldn’t be the same.