'˜Incredible' work'‹ of volunteersÂ

Volunteer and community groups who work to '˜make Sheffield a better place' have been given prestigious awards.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 9:21 am
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 9:28 am
Suzy Brain England representing Sheffield BID awarding the Voice and Influence Award to Chilypep at the Voluntary Action Sheffield.

Fare Share Yorkshire was just one of the local volunteer and community organisations honoured for their work at an awards ceremony hosted by Voluntary Action Sheffield, (VAS).

The organisation, which uses surplus food to make meals for vulnerable people in the city, was crowned as Champions of the Voluntary Sector.

David Blunkett presenting the Champion of the Voluntary Sector Award to Fare Share Yorkshire at the Voluntary Action Sheffield awards.

Free service The Suit Works, which helps unemployed men of all ages to succeed at job interviews by building their confidence through a personal styling session, won the Employment and Skills Award.

Charity Golddigger Trust, which aims to help young people to make positive, informed choices for themselves, was awarded the Health and Wellbeing Award.

Maddy Desforges, Chief Executive at VAS,  praised each organisation for the '˜incredible' work they do.

She said: 'The awards ceremony gave us the opportunity to step back and recognise the enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work of so many people who help to make Sheffield a better place to live.'

St Lukes Hospice being presented the award for Sheffield Volunteering by a member of Arches Housing at the Voluntary Action Sheffield awards.

Sheffield has more than 3000 volunteer and community groups. Some are larger organisations whose work touches thousands of people, while some are smaller but are still important.

Maddy added that although the awards had praised individual groups, every organisation in the city should be proud of what they achieve and the valuable support they provide.

She said: 'The voluntary and community sector contributes so much to the life of our city but we rarely stop to appreciate just how much is being achieved.

'While there can only be a small number of winners, our real aim was to bring people from across the sector together to celebrate the incredible work and achievements of everyone.'

The charity Sheffield Association for the Voluntary teaching of English, (SAVTE), took the award for Inclusion and Equality.

They train volunteers to teach English and their aim is to reduce isolation by helping people develop their everyday language skills.

Community enterprise Zest, which delivers high quality services to people and work to tackle local inequalities and improve community wellbeing, won the Communities Award.

The Sheffield Volunteering Award was given to St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield's only hospice.

This charity aims to deliver the best possible palliative care in Sheffield, whilst developing and driving continual improvements for everyone affected by terminal illness.

The final award was given to Chilypep, a nationally registered youth empowerment charity based in Sheffield which works to empower and improve the lives of children and young people. They took the Voice and Influence award.

More than 300 people from 60 local groups were joined by local civic leaders and dignitaries to celebrate the achievements of the shortlisted organisations and winners at the VAS awards ceremony.

Over 100 nominations were submitted for the seven award categories and the independent judging panel had a challenge getting it down to just two shortlisted organisations for each category.

The judges said, however, that the standard of activities and services being offered, and the range and breadth of accomplishments described by all of the nominees was incredible.

Joy Wigfield, Volunteer Development Manager at St Luke's Hospice said: ''St Luke's are extremely proud to have been chosen as the winner of the Sheffield Volunteering Award 2018.

'Our team of staff are supported by over 700 volunteers who embrace and demonstrate our values in all they do.

'We would like to say a huge thank you to VAS for a fantastic evening which we all enjoyed and the achievements from all organisations were celebrated by everyone in the room.'

Visit www.vas.org.uk.