18 Nov 2019

The brand-new Welsh Charity Awards took place on 15 November at a prestigious ceremony in the National Museum of Wales, in Cardiff.

Momena Ali

Nominees of all ten categories travelled the length and breadth of Wales to be at the ceremony, where they were celebrated for the positive difference they have made in each of their communities, to Wales and beyond.

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of WCVA, organisers of the Awards, said: 'WCVA are thrilled to have been able to throw a spotlight on the work of volunteers and organisations in the third sector in Wales.

'Each nominee and winner have set an exemplary standard of excellence and as a judging panel, we were blown away by their dedication and passion for the work they do in making a real difference to the lives of thousands of people.

'Our brand-new, inaugural Welsh Charity Awards have been a roaring success, and we are thrilled they've been embraced by the sector. Huge congratulations to everyone!' 

Volunteer of the Year

The much-coveted  Volunteer of the Year award was given to the very dedicated  Momena Ali, the founder and president of Swansea based EYST Wales, which provides young BME people, aged 11 to 25 years, with a culturally sensitive and holistic support service. 

For the past 15 years, Momena Ali has been the heart and soul of the charity, volunteering thousands of hours of her time, guiding and steering the staff and board of trustees to grow and develop EYST into the thriving organisation that it is today. 

Momena Ali said: 'EYST is a wonderful organisation, and I'm so proud to be part of its family. We all have a responsibility to our community and volunteering is so rewarding that I can honestly say it has been my pleasure.' 

Organisation of the Year

Organisation of the Year  was awarded to the entirely voluntary organisation,  Blood Bikes, which provides a free courier service to the NHS, delivering blood supplies, plasma, human breast milk, documents and other vital items across the whole country.

The service is free of charge and operates every day of the year, including bank holidays and Christmas Day.

blood bikes

Blood Bikes Chair, Nigel Ward, said:  'Our volunteers are incredible and I know NHS Staff across the country value their contribution enormously.  Winning this award will raise the profile of the charity and inspire us to become even bigger and better in 2020.' 

Change Makers

The  Change Makers award went to  Diabetes UK Cymru for its powerful and  energetic campaigning, including the 'Know Type 1' campaign, with the Baldwin family from Cardiff, whose son, Peter, passed away aged 13 years from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. 

Sally Taylor-Goodwin, Communications Manager for Diabetes UK Cymru, said:  '"Know Type 1" has had a direct impact on people's awareness of the symptoms, with two mums approaching us directly crediting the Baldwin family and the campaign for their children's safe diagnosis.

'Our campaign is ongoing and we are honoured to work with the Baldwin family to help create a legacy for their son, Peter; the work does not stop here.' 

Third Sector Prize

As well announcing the winners the awards ceremony also revealed the recipient of the Third Sector Prize, which will see winners  Cerebra receive £10,000 worth of video production and campaign delivery. The prize is a partnership between WCVA and Cardiff based video production company, Rockadove, who will be working with the Welsh charity to promote their work supporting families across the UK with children with brain condition. 

The full list of winners can be seen at  welshcharityawards.cymru The date for nominations for next year's Welsh Charity Awards will be announced in the New Year.