Over a million people in Wales help their communities and each other in all sorts of remarkable ways. And since 2004 the Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards has been shining the spotlight on these incredible people.
A total of 17 winners in the six nomination categories of
adults, young volunteers (under 25 years), international
volunteers, groups, 'green' volunteers and trustees were presented
with their awards by Welsh Government Minister for Communities and
Tackling Poverty Jeff Cuthbert AM.
'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 Phil Jarrold, Acting
WCVA Chief Executive.
'The Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards is the opportunity for
us to repay their efforts by saying thank you on a national
Minister Jeff Cuthbert said: 'I am delighted to help commemorate
and thank the many individuals and groups who voluntarily do great
work across Wales. WCVA tell me that there are one million
volunteers in Wales, and in a country of three million people that
says something very important to us.'
Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards 2014
Young person category - Max Williams, Vale of
'Exceptional young man' Max Williams has helped shape a club for
young people with disabilities by giving up all his spare time to
organise activities for them.
The 16-year-old from Wick is one of the original members of
Penarth Youth Project's United Youth Club for young people with
high functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, joining in 2010
because he lacked the confidence to socialise with his peers.
Currently a catering student at Cardiff and Vale College, Max
has put his skills to good use at the club, making chilli hot dogs
for members at special themed evenings.
As well as captaining the club's
sports team and regularly leading them to victory, he organises
fundraising activities for Comic Relief, Sports Relief and Children
in Need, and has received his Millennium Volunteers Award
Certificates for completing both his 100 hours and 200 hours of
'Max is an exceptional young man,' said his nominator Tracey
Downes, Manager with the Penarth Youth Project. 'He
is a great role model for other young people, especially those who
are on the autism spectrum, as he demonstrates how much a person
can achieve when they are supported, just by being
'Max is has no awareness of how inspirational others find him or
of the fact that he is. He has not set out to inspire other
people, but to challenge himself and face his challenges head
'He has impeccable manners, is a perfect gentleman, hard
working, always putting other people first, conscientious,
committed and a true advocate for all young people.'
Young person category - Manon Haf
Manon Haf Lewis has grown from someone with very little
confidence and low self esteem to become a voice for Welsh people
with mental health problems.
The 23-year-old of Johnstown, Carmarthen, is a Champion and
Timeto Change Wales (TTCW), the first national campaign to end
the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health
Through mentoring and support from the TTCW team, Manon's
confidence and involvement has gone from strength to
strength. From initially just pledging to talk more openly
about her own experiences in her local community, Manon has gone on
to undertake a range of roles within the campaign.
TTCW Educator - volunteers with lived experience of mental
health problems who tell their own stories and deliver anti-stigma
sessions in workplaces - she has taken part in media work including
newspaper and radio interviews and spoken at big events such as the
'As a Champion, Manon is part of a social movement for change
and is at the heart of the TTCW campaign,' said nominator Wendy
Bell, Glangwili Hospital Clinical Lead, Eating Disorders.
'She has pledged to talk openly about mental health and to speak
out against stigma and discrimination in her own community and
beyond. She is a voice for all people who have experienced
mental health problems inWales.
'By talking openly about mental health, she is helping to tackle
the taboos and make it easier for others to share and talk about
their experiences. Manon has made a massive contribution to
the TTCW campaign and has been a leading light for other
Young person category - Candy Srinivas,
Not only has Candy Srinivas kept the name of her local youth
club alive, but the Cowbridge student has also continued to
volunteer with it even while away in university.
Candy, 20, has been volunteering for the past four years with
Colwinston Youth Club, helping run activities, the canteen and
stalls at the village fête - as well as writing the
club's code of conduct.
Vice Chair of the Vale Youth Forum for the past two years, she
is also its representative on Funky Dragon, the young person's
Candy took part in a consultation event to ensure the views of
young people were considered in the development of services in the
village, which led to the installation of a multi-use games
She helped secure Gwirvol funding to promote the use of a
community transport scheme to address the difficulties experienced
by young people in accessing public transport in the isolated rural
'Candy deserves special recognition for what she has done,' said
nominator Conway Hawkins, Senior Youth Worker with Colwinston Youth
Club. 'She has kept the name of the club alive and done a
great deal to ensure that it prospers.
'She has not only acted as an advocate but she's a worker
too. Even now, while she is in university, she continues to
support young people from her home community in the Rural Vale by
remaining an active volunteer.
'Ours is one of the smallest clubs in the Vale of Glamorgan and
we've recently had three of our members - including Candy -
elected, by young people from across the Vale, to the newly
formed Vale Youth Cabinet. We're very proud that three of the
seven youth cabinet members come from our small club and this would
not have happened without Candy's example and encouragement.'
Adult category - John Hopkins,
The sudden death of John Hopkins's wife led to him spending most
of the past 20 years giving up his time - and money - to a charity
supporting other bereaved people.
The 60-year-old from Aberkenfig started volunteering with the
Mid Glamorgan branch of Cruse Bereavement Care in 1996, five years
later taking over as Chair of the newly formed Morgannwg area,
comprising Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Bridgend.
He also ran the office and worked five days a week, often six to
seven hours a day, with meetings in the evenings and
weekends. He joined the Cruse Wales Advisory Group and sat on
the UK National Cruse Council for three years.
Becoming a volunteer trainer, 'he never even took a holiday -
John ate and breathed Cruse Morgannwg', said nominator Sue
Richards, Area Coordinator with Cruse Morgannwg.
As he could find no-one else to take on the role, John became
treasurer. He stepped down as Chair in 2006, but remained
vice chair. Most recently, he took on the role of client
volunteer and visits bereaved people in their homes.
'Without John's input, Cruse Morgannwg would not be the
organisation it is today,' Sue added. 'From 2003 to 2006, he
mostly paid for all the stamps and stationery out of his own
pocket, as the organisation needed to grow but just did not have
the money behind it.
'Through not only his time but financial input, Cruse Morgannwg
grew and grew. When John arrived, we were looking at around
250 referrals a week. Now we are over 800. And the
number of volunteers has risen from the upper 20s to 53.
'Many a time has the management committee discussed the closing
of the branch. In the past two years, it has been a new
vibrant Cruse. We have John to thank for where we are today.
'Bereaved people in the towns of Bridgend, Neath,Port
TalbotandSwanseawould not have the range or depth of support they
have if it was not for John. All this complete selfless
generosity and need to help other bereaved people came from the
sudden death of his wife.'
Adult category - Adrian Bryan, Wrexham
Adrian Bryan is responsible for making 'a massive difference' to
the lives of children in Wrexham by transforming a struggling scout
group into a charity with a 'vibe of excitement and of life'.
The professional accountant from Llay often spends more hours in a
week at Bishop's Own Scout Group managing the group and its
volunteers than most people do in a full time job.
When Adrian, 33, took over as Group Scout Leader at the end of
2012, Bishop's Own had a reputation in the local community of being
disorganised and poorly managed. There were no functioning
executive committee, meetings, AGM or publishable accounts.
Since then he has trained three high calibre section leaders,
recruited a team of professional calibre volunteers to form the
executive committee, brought financial stability by introducing
standing order payments for parents, won grants totalling over
£11,000 and obtained corporate sponsorship.
'What makes Adrian's performance truly remarkable is that he
didn't just spend his time completing the "highlight-able" tasks,'
said nominator Luke Davies,Adrian's friend.
'He led from the front, supporting his section leaders by
helping run the evening activities; talking to the parents -
building relationships and trust; and week in week out helping with
the reality of charity work, even down to mopping the floors,
tidying, cleaning and making the brews.'
Adrian has managed to have an impact not only to the 80 children
that now attend Bishop's Own, but also to the other teenagers from
outside the group that he trained and mentored to complete their
Duke of Edinburgh Award.
'The difference Adrian has made has been through massive effort
and personal sacrifice,' Luke added. 'He found the strength
to take a failing organisation with a frankly woeful reputation and
- through literally thousands of hours of hard graft, through great
leadership and inspiring others and through tremendous organisation
and focus - created a new Bishop's Own, a charity with a vibe of
excitement and of life.
'It's a story of inspirational transformation that is making a
massive difference to kids' lives now, and will inevitably make a
difference to hundreds of kids' lives over the years.'
Adult category - Jen Wilson, Swansea
Pianist Jen Wilson has created a unique archive on the history
of Welsh and British women in jazz, the value of which is
The 69-year-old retired Swansea auxiliary nurse and
lecturer in higher education founded Jazz Heritage
Wales - then known as The Women's Jazz Archive - nearly 30
years ago. Its patrons today include Dame Cleo Laine.
From her experiences as a jazz pianist and work with Swansea
Women's History Group, Jen knew that the history of women in jazz
in Wales had not been documented. It was predominantly a male
story, with little published about women's contributions.
She started to collect records, books, journals and stage gowns,
which formed the basis of the present archive. Her research
focused on the anti-slavery societies and their music, and she
discovered that Swansea had the largest and most committed society
in Wales, with its roots in the 1820s.
While still a nurse, Jen listened to the memories of
patients in the geriatric ward at Mount Pleasant Hospital, adding
their stories to a local history exhibition and Swansea County
The most recent project - in partnership with the Phoenix Centre
in Townhill and Swansea Metropolitan University - culminated in the
publication ofThose Saturday Nights, the Arts Council of
Wales-funded story of Swansea's Tower cinema and ballroom, which
She has also devoted an enormous amount of time to the creation
and development of the all-women Allstars Swing Band, which has
given younger female musicians the opportunity to learn new skills
and perform in front of audiences.
'The jazz archive is at the heart of Jen's huge contribution to
the cultural history of Wales,' said nominator Gail Allen, Jazz
Heritage Wales Treasurer. 'It's a unique collection in the
UK, recognised as a valuable resource by researchers from
universities across the world, and used by television and
Adult category - Jenni McCabe, Newport
The voluntary work of Jenni McCabe has helped make life easier
for Welsh people with Parkinson's Disease and their families.
Secretary of theNewportbranch of Parkinson'sUKfor the past eight
years, she is also a volunteer educator for the charity, delivering
training sessions on the condition to pharmacies and staff in
residential care homes across the city.
Her third volunteer role is as a Parkinson's UK Champion
forNewport, which involves campaigning to local service providers
and decision makers - such as the Local Health Board and
politicians - to ensure they understand the challenges facing
people with Parkinson's.
Jenni is involved in the recruitment of new members of staff,
fundraising projects, and sourcing sponsors, prizes and other
volunteers for large events - as well as being the face of numerous
campaigns and publications.
Jenni was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease in
2001, and six years later was forced to retire from her career in
finance and insurance.
'Parkinson's is a progressive, neurological condition for which
there is no cure,' said nominator, Parkinson's UK Wales Director
Barbara Locke. 'Jenni's condition means she has particular
issues with balance and often falls over unexpectedly. She is
also affected by dyskinesia - uncontrollable movements caused by
But she goes swimming and ballroom dancing and attends keep fit
classes to remain active and mobile. Outside of
Parkinson'sUK, Jenni is a volunteer wardrobe mistress with a local
amateur theatre company.
'Jenni's work means services in South East Wales are continually
improving to meet the needs,' Barbara added. 'She was
instrumental in campaigning for a second Parkinson's Disease nurse
specialist in the area, which means many more people now have
access to regular health care and advice about their
condition. This in turn has reduced the burden on
Adult category - Lavon Smith, Swansea
In her almost quarter of a century with St John Wales's
Pontarddulais division, Lavon Smith has turned the unit into a
centre of excellence.
During that time, the 60-year-old Regional Youth Officer has
raised thousands of pounds for a new St John Ambulance Hall for the
town, 'transformed the volunteering experience' for young members
and inspired many of them to achieve skills and awards that will
benefit them for years to come.
A laboratory technician at Pontarddulais Comprehensive, Lavon
uses skills she has acquired from St John as the school's first aid
officer and has had to deal with many accidents over the years,
ranging from bruises to suspected spinal injuries and chest
pains. She has also administered first aid to members of the
public when she has been on the scene.
Lavon devised a new programme for first aid competition
training, helping Pontarddulais to take the Welsh Championship
First Aid title for the first time in 1997, and winning it
every year except three since. She has become a leading
authority in Wales for first aid competitions, stages county
competitions and supports the Welsh finals as a planner, paper
writer and judge.
When the division's meeting hall fell into disrepair, Lavon
spearheaded a fundraising campaign to raise £26,000 to build a new
one. She juggles her commitment to the club with caring for
her disabled brother, looking after her family and her full time
'With the support of the other St John youth leaders in
Pontarddulais, Lavon has created fun, interactive and achievable
programmes of study for young people and has turned the division
into a centre of excellence in the village,' said Damian James, St
John Wales' Director of Youth.
'There are more than 100 youth members at one time - 10 cadet
divisions and nine badger setts across the counties of Swansea and
Neath Port Talbot,' he added.
'There is a waiting list of more young people keen to join, yet
Lavon knows every young member by name.'
International category - Gill Griffiths, Pentyrch,
The vision of Gill Griffiths has helped raise an 'incredible'
amount of money to make a massive difference to the living
standards of women in Ethiopia.
On becoming President of Merched y Wawr in 2012, she chose
Christian Aid as her charity. She was then invited to
vist Ethiopia, where she met women and children, taking
part in their daily activities such as collecting and carrying
water and planting crops, and spending time in their impoverished
On her return to Wales, Merched y Wawr arranged a massive
collection of bags from members and friends to be sold second hand
to raise money for Christian Aid, with the specific aim of raising
the living standards of the women in Ethiopia.
An auction was held including bags from Welsh celebrities, and a
shop run for a week at the Eisteddfod and Royal Welsh Show, with a
pop-up shop in Aberystwyth and a stand at a car boot sale.
Thousands of bags were collected and so far, more than
£19,000 has been raised.
'A large number of women in Wales have helped with collecting,
sorting and selling, and feel that they have learnt a lot about
poverty,' said nominator Merched y Wawr National Director Tegwen
'The campaign has brought communities together and the amount
raised so far is incredible and will make a massive difference to
women in their communities in Ethiopia.
The funding will enable investment in projects such
as helping to provide closer access to water and to
establish self-help groups which provide opportunities for
women to buy animals such as goats and to set up small
businesses. The self-help groups also allow the women to
discuss their problems and make important decisions to improve
their daily lives.
'Gill has worked tirelessly over the past two years,' Tegwen
added. 'She had a vision, and that vision was realised with
the support of women right across Wales.
'Christian Aid is close to her heart and in a difficult economic
climate, contributing a bag was better than asking people to donate
money - but gave the same sense of contribution and pride of being
able to help less fortunate women.'
Group category - New Pathways, South East
Rape support group New Pathways has 'literally saved the lives'
of hundreds of vulnerable and at risk people across South, Mid and
The 70-plus volunteers provide counselling to victims of rape
and sexual abuse from offices in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Swansea,
Bridgend, Newport, Risca and Merthyr Tydfil, as well as through
outreach posts at Cardiff Links and Parc Prison, Bridgend.
All volunteers complete a ten-day accredited training programme
spread across eight to10 weeks and are required to commit around
four hours a week of their time to work with clients and support
other volunteers in the offices.
They work with children as young as three and adults up to the
age of 90-plus. The clients have a range of issues alongside
the sexual abuse/rape they have experienced, including substance
misuse, learning disabilities and being involved in the criminal
'Due to an increase in public confidence to report crimes of
this nature, there is an increased demand for this vital service
and New Pathways receives referrals every day from GPs, drug and
alcohol agencies, the probation and police services, youth workers,
teachers, Barnado's and social services, to name but a few,' said
nominator, Detective Superintendent Ian Roberts of Gwent
'Last year alone, we received more than 1,700 referrals
throughout Wales. We feel it is no exaggeration to say that
New Pathways' interventions have literally saved the lives of many
of the most vulnerable and at risk members of society, who without
our intervention would have had no other specialist help available
Group category - Time to Change Wales,
Volunteers with the first national campaign to address the
stigma and discrimination faced by people with a mental health
problem are successfully breaking down barriers.
The purpose of Time to Change Wales (TTCW) is to educate people
on 'the myths and the facts' about mental health problems and to
try to change public attitudes.
TTCW 'champions' are volunteers with lived experience of mental
health problems. They deliver formal presentations in the
workplace and at conferences and other events with large audiences,
as well as engaging with their local communities by taking part in
bike rides, music shows and writing groups and being very active on
'The campaign is vitally
important, as in any one year, one in four of us will experience a
mental health problem - and entrenched attitudes are still
evident,' said nominator Julie Denley, Head of Psychological
Services and Partnerships with Hywel Dda University Health
Surveys, for example, demonstrate that 25% of the Welsh
population does not think that someone with a mental health
condition should hold public office, and almost 50% has the opinion
that someone with a mental health problem should not look after
'These individuals are an inspiration,' Julie added. 'They
are at the heart of everything that the campaign achieves.
They are the voices, the stories, the campaigners and the
'They are breaking down barriers surrounding mental health
stigma and discrimination. For many, this involvement has
also been a personal journey, helped their own recovery, and even
provided a route back into employment.'
Group category - Pembrokeshire
A Pembrokeshire tourist attraction that also offers employment
to people with learning disabilities has seen a 45% increase in
visitors since volunteers secured funding for impressive new
Stackpole Walled Garden, part of the National Trust's Stackpole
Estate, is managed by the trustees of Pembrokeshire Mencap and all
the gardening work carried out by adults with learning
They produce a large range of plants, fresh fruit and vegetables
- sold in the shop or used in the recently opened Cawdor Café and
Visitor Centre - and crafts such as Christmas wreaths, bird boxes
and vegetable trugs.
In 2010, Mencap Treasurer Mike Evans and Secretary Ian Wilshaw
obtained funding of £350,000 to build the visitor centre and café,
a car park and retail outlet. The initiative has been
principally funded by Communities and Nature Fund led and managed
by Natural Resources Wales and part-funded by the European Regional
Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
They also received funding from the Welsh Government's
Sustainable Development Fund, administered locally by the
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. There have also been a
number of foundations and groups who have made significant
donations which gave the Society the confidence and security it
needed to make a start.
The new development is now providing new opportunities for
people with special learning needs to learn cooking and catering
skills, hospitality skills such as table waiting and taking orders,
food hygiene and workplace cleanliness, and social skills through
interaction with customers.
Between March 2009 and March 2010, Stackpole Walled Garden
received 7,000 visitors. Between April 2013 and September
2013, it welcomed 12,568 visitors - a 45 % increase.
'The café has also provided new seasonal jobs, with six local
people now working there between March and October - new posts
created in a rural area,' said nominator Aled Davies, Communities
and Caseload Officer with Natural Resources Wales.
'This project, from start to finish, has shown what can be
achieved when an organisation has two well motivated and committed
individuals involved. This project would not have seen the light of
day without the input of Mike Evans and Ian Wilshaw.'
Green category - Gail Jones, Caerphilly
A haven for wildlife on the edge of Newport is connecting
thousands of children with nature - with Gail Jones playing a key
The 'energetic' retired teacher from Machen volunteers as a
community and education assistant at the RSPB Visitor and Education
Centre based at the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve 'with
massive enthusiasm', employing teaching skills built over a long
Having started volunteering in July 2009, Gail has since donated
more than 3,000 hours of her time to field teaching sessions and
inspiring families about wildlife at the reserve.
Alongside staff and other volunteers she uncovers the magic of
nature through a variety of hands-on activities, including sensory
walks, mini-beast hunting and pond dipping, and is 'incredibly'
supportive of her colleagues.
'Gail, on average, provides 15 to 20 hours per week,' said
nominator, RSPB Cymru Volunteer Development Officer Emma Roberts.
'She is fully committed to the RSPB and its mission, demonstrating
the benefits of the natural environment to local schools and local
'She thoroughly enjoys her time supporting the RSPB in this
manner and her enthusiasm is both inspiring and infectious for
other staff and volunteers who work alongside her,' Emma added.
'Gail uses her passion and enthusiasm to educate and inspire our
next generation, and always goes above and beyond what is required
of her. She requires limited management and has an instinct
for inspiring people, no matter what their age.'
Green category - Paul Parsons, Pontypridd
Paul Parsons has overcome barriers to develop into an integral
part of a team responsible for seeing more than 1,500 electrical
items recycled to people in need in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
As a qualified Portable Appliance Tester with the highly
successful charity toogoodtowaste, the 41-year-old from Glyncoch
helps ensure that all small electrical goods are processed to a
high standard, safe, fully-functional and fit for resale back to
Toogoodtowaste reduces waste to landfill by offering a free
collection service and redistributing, once quality controlled and
cleaned, each item via two charity shops. The income raised
both supports low income households and provides training and
Paul is one of the organisation's
'core' volunteers who support the electrical department team, and
takes 'responsibility, pride and care to ensure only safe items are
offered for resale', said nominator Jennifer Evans, Volunteer Co
-ordinator with toogoodtowaste.
'Like many young people who have
little family support, Paul's background involved a life of crime,
drink and drugs, with an addedmental health condition,' she
'He has developed skills through
volunteering that have had a positive effect on overcoming many of
the barriers he faces on a daily basis, and now sees his role in
life to give back something to the community and encourage others
to see the benefits that volunteering can offer and change their
lives for the better.
'Paul's confidence and self-esteem
have grown significantly, and we feel he truly is an inspiration to
others as he gladly shares his experiences for the benefit of other
potential volunteers who - like him - are striving to
overcomebarriers faced through a medical condition.'
Green category - Paul
Despite having a full-time job, Paul Roberts still gives up two
days a week to work on a communal allotment project helping people
struggling to buy food and those in recovery.
The horticultural therapist with children with autism has
volunteered with theAngleseyand Gwynedd Recovery Organisation
(AGRO) since it was established in 2010, working on two allotment
projects in Holyhead andBangor.
'He has transformed a bare piece of land that was donated to the
organisation into an all year round flourishing communal
allotment,' said nominator Aeronwy Williams AGRO Administrator.
'He did the designing of the project, helped coordinate the
build and structuring and then - with AGRO members and volunteers -
developed the land so that it produces an array of seasonal
vegetables, fruit and herbs.'
The organic produce is used for 'cook and eat' activities in
weekly AGRO support groups which teach members cooking skills, and
to make pickles, chutneys, cakes and soups which are then sold at
local fairs and events to raise more money for AGRO.
'The project also helps the recovery community to come together
with a common goal and stops isolation,' Aeronwy added. 'It
teaches members valuable skills in growing their own organic
produce and has helped people who are struggling to buy food.
When there is produce left over, it has been donated to food
She said Paul deserved his award because even though he had a
job, family and his own allotment, he still volunteered every
'He is a kind, friendly and caring person who is genuinely
volunteering out of the goodness of his heart. He treats all
members in recovery non-judgmentally, with respect and encourages
people on their journey.'
Trustee category - Kathy Talbot, Tenby
Kathy Talbot has been credited with bringing one of Tenby's top
tourist attractions into the 21st century.
Kathy, 61, recently stepped down as Honorary Curator of the
town's Museum and Art Gallery, a role with responsibility for the
effective management of the building. But she remains as a
Trustee and continues to be actively involved in finding
sustainable funding to help ensure the museum's future.
One of only two wet weather attractions in the town with more
than 16,000 visitors a year and open year-round, the museum is also
a cultural and educational resource for local people and of
economic benefit to the local business community.
'Kathy took over the role of Curator at a time of falling
attendances and uncertainty concerning future funding from the
local authority,' said her nominator, fellow trustee Neil
'She quickly identified the urgent need to modernise the
museum's displays and increase visitor numbers. Working with
paid staff and volunteers, Kathy brought the museum into the 21st
As well as introducing new features including interactive
displays, Kathy identified the need to make the museum more
attractive to families by admitting children free, as well as
improving the museum's educational services to the local
A 'conservative' estimate is that Kathy has given more than 30
hours a week to the museum for no financial reward. She is
also more than willing to get her hands dirty with DIY work, and
during the Christmas holidays last year could be found in the
museum, painting the art gallery.
'Kathy Talbot is a committed, enthusiastic and dedicated team
leader,' Neil Westerman added. 'Through her leadership
skills, the museum and art gallery has been transformed. By
working to ensure the long-term sustainability of the museum, Kathy
has also helped ensure it will survive and prosper for many years
Trustee category - Margaret Thomas, Betws y
The dramatic beauty of the Snowdonia National Park is being
preserved and enhanced through the work of 'one in a million'
volunteer Margaret Thomas.
Having spent much of her professional life working in and for
national parks, Margaret has even devoted her retirement to the
protection of Snowdonia by becoming a trustee of the Cymdeithas
Eryri Snowdonia Society.
A long time champion of the Society's flagship property, the
famous 'Ugly House' - Ty Hyll near Betws y Coed - Margaret has over
many years been central to developments which followed the Society
rescuing the property from near dereliction.
She is a key supporter and
participant of the society's Ecosystem Snowdonia Project whose
volunteers go out in all weathers to clear litter from Snowdon,
maintain footpaths and other high visitor-pressure sites, clear
invasive species and carry out habitat management work to benefit
She was 'instrumental and
tireless' during the complex refurbishment of the 'iconic' listed
building, which included the opening of a tearoom and honeybee
education facility, installation of eco-features such as compost
toilets and green roofs, and the enhancement of the magnificent
wildlife garden for pollinators.
'It is exhausting just to think of
all the energy Margaret puts into organising and supporting the
volunteers every single week,' said nominator, Snowdonia Society
Director John Harold.
'She is utterly reliable, conscientious and dedicated to this
role, attending every meeting and being an ambassador for the
society at all kinds of events, from marshalling for the Snowdonia
Marathon to judging the Snowdonia wildlife gardening competition,
giving talks, and much more besides.
'Margaret is a one-in-a-million trustee who makes things happen,
for whom nothing is ever too much trouble, and who gets things done
in her own quiet and modest way.
'She is hard working, selfless, committed, and modest - a
grafter who likes to get her hands dirty and for whom no task is
too big or too small.'