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 2016 winner is Leanne Westhead
Leanne became a volunteer for Barnardo’s Compass Partnership in Wrexham, having previously been a service user there and volunteers in a variety of roles. Her experiences provide her with an insight that other members of staff do not and therefore she has a wealth of skills to use when working with service users.
Leanne has developed and facilitated a one-to-one course which helps to prepare young mothers for the reality of motherhood, following her experiences of being a young parent herself. Leanne collected some equipment and created ‘Baby Crash Course’, a programme which covered areas such as making up bottles and bathing a baby. Feedback from the users of this service said that they found these sorts of activities very helpful and that they gave them a lot more confidence once their babies had arrived.
Leanne is currently a volunteer mentor and group volunteer. In her role as a mentor, she has supported a number of service users, especially young mums and young pregnant service users who are encountering difficulties. Leanne also supports various groups which the service is running, including helping at the crèche once a week so that service users in this group can attend courses.
Leanne is also in the process of developing a number and play resource pack which she plans to deliver to service users to enable them to create free or cheap resources to use in education play with their children.
Leanne provides the service with innovative ideas which would never have come to fruition without her input and determination for the projects to be a success.
Pictured: Leanne receiving her Award from Nick Carter (MCT Trustee), Amir Khan (Celebrity Ambassador for Barnardo's) and Javed Khan (Chief Executive at Barnardo's)