North Herts volunteers celebrated at annual award ceremony

The 2020 Chair’s Volunteer Achievement Awards winners. Picture: Nic Cooper

The 2020 Chair’s Volunteer Achievement Awards winners. Picture: Nic Cooper - Credit: Archant

The winners of the 2020 Chair’s Volunteer Achievement Awards received their awards at a special ceremony in Hitchin on Friday.

The awards, run by North Herts District Council, celebrate volunteers in North Herts who sacrifice their time to help others and make a difference in their communities.

The winners were nominated by members of the public and chosen by a judging panel comprising of NHDC's chair Cllr Jean Green, former Comet and Royston Crow editor Nick Gill, Anne Taylor, membership co-ordinator at North Herts CVS and Jack Wells, construction manager at Wilmott Dixon.

Each winner was presented with a glass trophy, flowers and a gift voucher at Hitchin Town Hall on February, 28.

Cllr Jean Green said: "We are honoured to be able to recognise these individuals who really go the extra mile to help others in the district.

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"They represent the true essence of community spirit and give their time and skills for free to assist local people. We wish each award winner the very best with their volunteering work in the future."

This year's winners are: Anthony Balls, winner of the Caring Award. Anthony is a volunteer driver who dedicates his time to the Community Transport Scheme, helping to take residents to hospital or doctor appointments. In 2019 he carried out 328 trips as a driver.

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Carole and Victor Rhind, winners of the Dedication Award. Carole and Victor started volunteering with the Scouts in 1972. Victor is now Assistant District Commissioner for the Royston District Beaver Section and Carole is the District Commissioner for the Royston District.

Phil Charsley, winner of the Green Award. Phil was a founding member and Chairman of the Friends of Baldock Green Spaces 15 years ago and has volunteered tirelessly to help Ivel Springs and Weston Hills Local Nature Reserves thrive in Baldock.

Lindsay Davidson, winner of the Judges Special Recognition Award. Lindsay volunteers for a diverse number of causes within the local community including serving as a Town Councillor, Mayor, fundraising for charities, Chairman of the Royston Volunteer Centre Management Committee, Royston Food Bank and assisting with Silver Sunday, among many other things!

Rajah Thai Singh Rayat, winner of the Sporting Achievement Award. Rajah, who has ADHD and autism, has committed to intense training sessions of 10 hours per week of roller hockey, which he has now been playing for five years. He has now been selected to play for England's under 13's in Portugal.

Jack Howie, winner of the Young Star Award. Jack lost his father in 2014 and uncle in 2015. Shortly after, he began attending the Stand-By-Me bereavement support group to help him cope. The Stand-By-Me group helped him come to terms with his loss and he now volunteers for the charity, mentors young people who are experiencing bereavement, and became one of the first Stand-By-Me Young Ambassadors.

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