Marsh Volunteer of the Year Award for Work with Children

This Award recognises the contribution made to Barnardo's by their volunteers across all departments and throughout the organisation. The volunteer or group of volunteers must have made a difference to the work of Barnardo's by demonstrating an exceptional level of support and commitment.

The 2013 winners are Peter and Meryl Ashford

Peter and Meryl began volunteering with the Barnardo’s Outreach Scheme for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) more than four years ago. The scheme involves supporting young people who have come to the UK from war torn and conflict ridden countries, such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Iran, seeking protection and asylum. Peter and Meryl have a special affinity with this project having lived in Afghanistan for over 7 years, where Meryl taught English and Peter worked as a pharmacist.

Peter and Meryl have worked with young people from numerous countries, giving over 324 sessions of support. They offer them help with their English, help them build budgeting and practical skills and give them moral support and friendship. The service offers 12 weekly sessions to each person, but for one young person they gave over 100 sessions and became life-long friends with them. Their efforts and commitments to supporting young people have made them worthy recipients of this Award.

The Award recognised another 11 outstanding winners from regions across the UK who contribute their time, skills and energy to supporting young people, children and families in need. From mentoring young people to organising activities for children and families, these volunteers have had a significant impact on the lives of the people they support.


Tanners Lane