The annual Basildon Council Volunteer Awards celebrate the selfless help and support provided by the borough’s dedicated volunteers. Last week (30 October) the Volunteer Awards ceremony, sponsored by Pinnacle PSG was held at Woodlands School.
All award nominees and their special guests were invited to the award evening, which was generously sponsored by a number of Basildon based businesses and voluntary bodies.
On arrival via the red carpet, they were greeted by the Basildon Sea Cadets. Entertainment was provided throughout the evening by the Artistic Performance Team from Woodlands School and event presenters were members of Basildon Borough Youth Council.
Winners of the seven categories were presented with a trophy, a certificate of appreciation and a prize voucher by Councillor David Burton-Sampson, Mayor of Basildon and the award category sponsors. There were also certificates for those highly commended.
The winners of each category were put forward for the Tony Guyon Memorial Cup to be crowned overall Volunteer of the Year. Tony was a member of Basildon Council’s Community Involvement Team, who sadly passed away doing the job he loved. He dedicated a lot of his life to helping make Basildon a better borough.
This year the cup went to Karen Pullen, who also received the Community Star Award and Inspirational Role Model Award. Karen founded The Craig Tyler Trust, who support mental health and wellbeing in memory of her 22-year-old son, who sadly took his own life. Since founding the Trust, Karen and her volunteers have set up a social media site, provide telephone support, run drop-in sessions not just for people with mental ill health, they welcome everyone who may just need a cuppa and chat.
Charlotte Rose, a volunteer helper at Eversley Primary School for more than 37 years was winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Her dedicated commitment, kind and caring nature and loving smile has brought delight and help to so many children over the years.
Mayor of Basildon, Cllr David Burton-Sampson, said: “It really was an honour to be able to celebrate our volunteers who willingly share their time to helping others in our communities across the borough.
“The judges of each category said how difficult it was to award just one winner and they were sometimes visibly moved by the stories they heard, as we all were.
“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Basildon, the fact that our borough has so many people dedicated to improving the lives of others is something to be very proud of.
“Congratulations to everyone nominated and thank you to all our sponsors and those who helped make it a special night”.
You can see all the winners of this year’s Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards at: www.basildon.gov.uk/volunteerawards