Volunteer week - celebrating the wonderful contribution of our team of volunteers

 

Ashfield Voluntary Action has a wonderful team of volunteers and they are a massive part of the work we do in the community. Volunteering is an integral part of what we do - half our staff actually first joined AVA as volunteers and all have been involved in volunteering at some point in their lives. Not only is volunteering in our name; it is the very foundation of what we do.

 

Usually at this time of year we hold an award ceremony to thank our volunteers, celebrate their contribution to the community and get together as a team and enjoy spending time together with afternoon tea and free flowing cakes! Unfortunately we are unable to do this because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but we don't want their contribution to go unmarked and are setting up a living wall of volunteers to thank them for their help and celebrate what they do.   

 

We have an amazing team of 48 active volunteers and 17 Covid Responders. They undertake all sorts of work in the community and make a massive difference in people's lives. Over the next week or so we are going to create a living wall of volunteers acknowledging the part they play in supporting local people. Please watch this space as we add to our wall and hopefully we will all be able to get together soon to celebrate the fabulous achievement of our dedicated team of volunteers.  

 

Meet the Team

 

Patrizia runs the Mansfield and Ashfield Emergency Foodbank through St John's in Kirkby Woodhouse with her husband Jac and a team of volunteers and is one of our busiest and most committed volunteers. 

 

Peter is a Trustee at Ashfield Voluntary Action and also shares his vast wealth of commerical experience with St John's in Kirkby Woodhouse helping them to secure funding and develop a robust business plan. 

 

Robina helps to run the highly popular craft group which is part of the Step by Step project at AVA. The group provides a calm and welcoming space and Robina is key in providing excellent one-to-one support for our service users.

 

 

Len runs Ashfield Community Enterprise at Stanton Hill providing training and work experience opportunities for people. Len has shown immense dedication, is extremely knowledgeable and provides a supportive work environment.

 

Anna is a Covid Responder and already works in the voluntary sector. She has been a great help supporting three ladies who are vulnerable and isolating. Anna is a very caring person and will always go that extra mile, she shops once a week and delivers the groceries to their doors.

 

Jac runs the Mansfield and Ashfield Emergency Foodbank with his wife and a team of volunteers. Jac has a long history in the commercial sector and has brought his knowledge, skills and experience to both the food bank and AVA as he recently joined our Board of Trustees.

 
Sheila is the driving force behind our Twiddle Mitt campaign. Not only was it her idea, she knits them by the dozen, has taught volunteers how to knit and is heavily involved with fundraising. To find out more click HERE  

Ellena is one of our Covid Responders and helps people in the Sutton-in-Ashfield area who are isolating by doing their grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions. Ellena travels far around the area on her bicycle and is always happy to help wherever she is needed.

 
Brenda helps to run the Step by Step craft group and has shown utmost dedication and commitment  offering a safe, welcoming and friendly haven. Brenda also works tirelessly to fundraise for the group. To find out more about the Step by Step project click HERE  
Stephen is a regular volunteer at the Health & Wellbeing Centre providing portering services for the Clinics. His cheerful and friendly manner have made him a popular fixture at the Centre and he provides an invaluable service.  

Glenice has two volunteer roles; a telephone befriender for AVA, providing a much-needed lifeline for older people. Glenice also supports the Emergency Foodbank answering calls and taking referrals and is a vital part of the team.

 

Karen is one of our new Covid Responders and has been volunteering for AVA since April. Karen shops for groceries and collects prescriptions for people across Ashfield and Mansfield. Karen has a lovely manner and is very popular with our service users.

 
Kath is one of our secret weapons and is always on hand to help us with fundraising events. She has an amazing talent for parting people with their money for a good cause and at 91 is the oldest of our volunteers.   
Phil is our longest serving Trustee having joined AVA in 2004. His former employment as Chief Executive for Ashfield District Council means that he is perfectly placed to be a guiding light for the charity and has helped us to go from strength-to-strength.     
David is a volunteer for our music group which is part of the Step by Step project. David helps to set up the group and leads the sessions as needed. The music group is one of our most popular sessions and David is a real asset to its success.  
Sarah was the first person who offered us her help during the Covid Crisis, she collects groceries for people who are isolating and cannot get out to shop for themselves. The time she gives is very much appreciated as Sarah also works full-time from home.         
Doreen is another of our fundraising volunteers and helps at events. Doreen is always ready with a smile and always eager to help and is a much valued member of our volunteering team.  

At AVA we offer flexible volunteering opportunities to fit in with people's lives. Elliott made a real difference by giving up his time to help two vulnerable people who are isolating and needed their lawns mowing. Thank you Elliott.

 
Margaret is our Chair of Trustees and has a background of working for Social Services and was also a Senior Lecturer at Derby University. Margaret brings an invaluable perspective to the development and delivery of our services.    
Cheryl is another of our Covid Responders. Cheryl is a lovely caring person. Nothing is too much trouble and she will help at a moments notice. Thank you to a truly valuable volunteer.  

 

Whilst we have a team of lovely volunteers, we also would like to thank everyone who helps us to help the wider community of Ashfield. This includes: people who donate books, DVDs and jigsaws for our Lockdown packs, our fantastic team of knitters making Twiddle Mitts and local businesses who have been incredibly supportive. From our local Co-operative who are always happy to provide fruit baskets as raffle prizes to another local company, Providor, who very kindly allows one of their furloughed staff, Karen, to deliver food parcels and collect prescriptions in one of their company vans - thank you so much. 

 

To find out more about volunteering opportunities through AVA or to register your interest in volunteering, please click HERE

 

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