Marsh Volunteer Awards with St Mungo’s
This is a new Award run in partnership with St Mungo’s recognising some of the organisation’s hundreds of volunteers who support people recovering from homelessness.
From providing outreach services to rough sleepers, to running activity groups and offering information and advice, St Mungo’s' volunteers offer invaluable support to clients.
St Mungo’s helps people recover from the issues that create homelessness and to rebuild their lives. They provide a bed and support to more than 2,500 people a night who are either homeless or at risk, and work to prevent homelessness, helping about 25,000 people a year.
The 2016 winners are Jon Young, Claudia Cotton, Adnan Sharif and Caroline Mellers
Overall Winner (London) – Jon Young
Jon has been volunteering for the ‘Sixty Five’ hostel since 2011 and is still volunteering there with the same enthusiasm and creativity that he had from the beginning. Jon runs the weekly Newspaper Club which has attracted the attention of many residents, including those who would not normally socialise in group settings, noticeably reducing their sense of isolation. Residents have also reported regaining an interest in local and national politics and, as a result, many of those that attended the club have voted in recent elections. Jon has also used his IT skills to provide invaluable support to residents with their job searches and provides them with training in IT. With their increased confidence, and increased access to a computer thanks to Jon organising one for the hostel, a number of residents have been able to make contact with family members and friends via social media.
Outstanding Achievement (London) – Claudia Cotton
Claudia has volunteered at the Hilldrop Road care home in Camden for over 15 years and is committed to running weekly groups and activities for the residents. She has created an Open Studio at the centre which incorporates art, discussion, reflection, geography, history and music while encouraging self-determination, self-motivation, self-exploration and wellbeing. Her knowledge and life experience allows her to equip clients with skills and help them uncover hidden talents, and she inspires greater engagement amongst those who find it hard to interact with others.
Overall Winner (South West) – Adnan Sharif
Adnan volunteers at the Compass Centre in Bristol, having had personal experience of homelessness in the past. He has been involved in a number of services including the Peer Advice Link Team, the New Street Community Centre and the Outreach Team and supported clients in a number of different ways. Adnan uses his language skills to great effect; helping clients to liaise with the Home Office, doctors and housing advisers and providing much needed support to clients who have little help available to them.
Outstanding Achievement (South West) – Caroline Mellers
Caroline has worked tirelessly on the development of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter for Bath and North East Somerset, identifying the rights, values and expected standards of support of clients from their support network. Caroline proposed the idea of the charter as a way of improving the support that people with mental health issues receive, and it will be adopted by services as a way of ensuring that the best level of help possible is provided, based on feedback from clients and working with experts in the field.
Pictured: Volunteers Adnan Sharif, Caroline Mellers and Jon Young with their certificates
3 Thomas More Square