The 2013 Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards took place on 6 June
in Cardiff Castle, celebrating the outstanding contribution made by
A total of 17 winners in the five nomination categories of
adults, young people (under 25 years), groups, 'green' volunteers
and trustees were presented with their awards by BBC personality
Frank Hennessy at the ceremony.
'We are proud to have in Wales a wealth of dedicated volunteers
who give selflessly of their spare time to making a huge difference
in the communities in which they live,' said Graham Benfield OBE,
Chief Executive of WCVA.
Winners in the young person category are Crystal
Matthews, Aaron Evans, Rachel Wood and Daniel Walsh.
The support of Abercynon teenager Crystal Matthews has had a
massive impact on the lives of a group of girls at the local youth
club where she volunteers.
British and Welsh junior football international and Everton
juniors captain Aaron Evans from Rhyl, who has cerebral palsy, has
managed to find the time on top of his own personal achievements to
help hundreds of Denbighshire youngsters to get involved in
Rachel Wood from Caerwent is bravely using her personal story of
recoveryto try to deter other young people from using drugs.
And Daniel Walsh, the 20-year old Youth Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil,
has both inspired his peers and helped allay the fear of crime
among older members of the community.
Winners in the adult category are Joan Davies, Mandy
Powell and Ruth Walters.
79-year-old Joan Davies from Newport has carried out voluntary
work all her life. She has volunteered at St Woolos Hospital and St
John's Ambulance, where she taught first aid - all while working as
a hospital care assistant and raising her son.
Mandy Powell of Canton, Cardiff became a leader for the City
Temple's Street Homeless Project Impact Outreach Team.
Visiting people sleeping rough between the hours of 10pm and 3am,
she and a fellow volunteer began by distributing food, and soon
built up a special relationship with them.
Ruth Walters from Newport works with the 'Mega Team' volunteers,
cleaning up and refurbishing gardens and grounds across South Wales
for people who cannot do it themselves or afford to do it - having
'a profound impact' on the communities.
Winners in the group catergory are Teen Spirit, Chooselife
Wales Volunteers and Cardigan Castle Volunteers.
In under a year since it was established, Teen Spirit - a group of
volunteers which carries out fundraising events and activities -
has raised over £15,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the
University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
A 'fabulous' group of people, the Chooselife Wales Volunteers
ensure the smooth running of the Llanelli drug and alcohol
intervention service, the only one of its kind in
Cardigan Castle Volunteers managed to secure £10 million in
funding to realise their vision of unveiling to the world the
12th-century castle's cultural and historical relevance and
importance. They have worked for many years to make the
derelict, overgrown castle site into a major visitor
Winners in the 'green' category are Alice Midmore, Sam
Holt, James Wilkes and Dave Owens.
Skilled woodworker Alice Midmore has been 'integral to the
success' of Menter y Felin Uchaf, a Pwllheli education centre
promoting sustainable development by providing training and
volunteering opportunities for the local community.
Without Sam Holt taking the helm, Cardiff's Riverside Community
Garden Project would most likely have had to close its gates
by now. Instead, under his care, it had flourished, with more
than 140 volunteers collectively clocking up 4,500 hours of time on
the garden in just the past six months.
James Wilkes from Bargoed volunteers with QWEST, an employability
and training project led by the University of South Wales, which
helps the unemployed and economically inactive up-skill and prepare
to go back to work.
Dave Owens from Anglesey is playing a major role in RSPB Cymru's
Twite Project, which is trying to boost numbers of the small finch
- of which there are only 14 to 17 pairs left, all in two valleys
Winners in the trustee category are Tracy Griffiths, Paul
Frost and Adrienne Howes.
With no financial background or previous experience in such a
role, Tracy Griffiths from Merthyr Tydfil volunteered to become
treasurer of a failing Welsh medium playgroup and turned it into a
highly successful one.
Paul Frost from Capel Curig's work in helping set up and continue
to run an outdoor activities programme in North Wales has seen more
than 25,000 local people taking part in events over the past seven
Adrienne Howes had the vision to turn a derelict Pontardawe
building into the hub of the community, giving residents of a
deprived area the opportunity to be further educated, find work and
socialise with one another.
Nomination for Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards 2014
will open in January.