Tuesday, 26 March 2019 00:00

Young Volunteers’ Achievements Celebrated at Awards Ceremony

Written by  Gena Moore
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Nelson's Journey's Volunteers - Simon Finlay Photography Nelson's Journey's Volunteers - Simon Finlay Photography

The achievements of young volunteers who support a child bereavement charity in Norfolk have been celebrated at an awards ceremony held at Oaklands Hotel in Norwich. The young people, who all give up their time for local charity Nelson’s Journey, had volunteered for a total of 1418 hours over the course of 2018, with 26 of them honoured on the night.

The young people, 12 of whom make up the Nelson’s Journey Youth Panel, and 14 of them who make up the Young Volunteers, are all aged 11 to 17, and give up their time, enthusiasm and ideas to help bereaved children and young people. Many of the young volunteers have previously used Nelson’s Journey’s services after the death of a special person in their life and have now come back to volunteer their expertise to the charity, helping to develop innovative products and services to help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

Nearly 100 people attended on the night, including representatives from ABC Taxis, the Shelroy Trust who fund the Youth Panel, Norfolk Scouts Commissioner Matthew Burrell, Aimee Gedge from Momentum Norfolk and charity patrons William Armstrong OBE, Lady Pippa Dannatt and Carol Bundock.

Guests were treated to a presentation detailing the work of the young volunteers in 2018, which included the launch of innovative products such as the Smiles and Tears Gift Box, a thoughtful gift for a bereaved child or young person. The young volunteers had also been busy capturing video footage for a film detailing Nelson’s Journey’s therapeutic Residential Weekends and Activity Days as well as giving presentations to corporate supporters and professionals to share their stories and talk about their volunteering work.

The awards, sponsored by Hilltop Outdoor Centre, were given out by Helen and Oliver Read, directors of the outdoor education centre near Sheringham. They spoke about the inspiring work of the young volunteers and how much they were giving back to their communities at such a young age.

Lady Pippa Dannatt, patron of Nelson’s Journey also gave out the bronze, silver, and gold awards to 8 young volunteers who had achieved 50, 100 or 150 hours of volunteering over their time with the charity. Owen Leeder, 16, of Scole near Diss, received the night’s only platinum award, after volunteering over 300 hours with Nelson’s Journey since he started as a young volunteer 4 years ago.

Simon Wright, Chief Executive Officer for Nelson’s Journey said ‘We really enjoyed celebrating the incredible achievements of our young volunteers, both to celebrate their successes of the past year and shine a spotlight on the innovative and inspiring work that they are continuing to do for us.

The views and voice of young people is integral to all we do at Nelson’s Journey and this group of dedicated and passionate young people is a huge asset to our work. We are very excited about the range of projects that they are working on in 2019, including launching our memory bricks project which can be used to create a wall of memorial and hosting a Purple Picnic at BeWILDerwood for families that we support.’

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Owen Leeder receives his platinum volunteer award from Lady Pippa Dannatt - photo credit Simon Finlay Photography

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 20:41

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