Volunteers Celebration Event as part of Volunteers Week 2024

Over 150 volunteers were recognised and celebrated in a special event organised by Volunteer Centre Sefton and the Mayor of Sefton’s office for Volunteers’ Week 2024. The Volunteer Celebration Event, held at Bootle Town Hall, welcomed 30 organisations, who invited volunteers from across Sefton, who make a vital difference to their cause and community.

Volunteers were presented with certificates and awards by the Mayor of Sefton, Councillor June Burns and addressed by other dignities which included Leader of Sefton Council Councillor Marion Atkinson, Director of People at Sefton MBC Andrea Watts, Peter Dowd, Sefton CVS’ Chief Executive Angela White, Sefton CVS Patron Colonel Martin Amlot and Sefton CVS Trustees Paul Cummins and Councillor Paulette Lappin.

This year, the Volunteer Celebration event was extra special. 2024 is the 50th birthday of the borough of Sefton, Sefton CVS and Volunteer Centre Sefton and it is the 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week. To mark these occasions, a new award was created to celebrate long service in volunteering. In total, 20 volunteers received long service awards for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years of volunteering in the community.

Barbara Rouse received a long service award for 50 years of service to the community. She has been instrumental in the regeneration of Derby Park, Bootle Action Group and Bootle YMCA. Another, who was recognised for their long service included Val Cousins, who has run a playgroup at Linacre Methodist Mission for over 35 years. For a more detailed look at all who received the award click here.

Additionally, we received a number of nominations for Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year awards.  These awards give recognition to volunteers in Sefton, who have gone above and beyond their role and shown real dedication and commitment to the cause, community and organisation they support.

This year’s recipient of Sefton Volunteer of the Year award was Alison Hollinrake, from Read Easy Merseyside. She was selected by a panel that decided her dedication to helping adults learn to read has changed lives. One of the people Alison supports whose literacy skills she has helped to improve has since gone on to get a promotion at work and can now read stories to his young son. He is still working on his reading and is hoping with Alison’s help to be able to read all the Harry Potter books.

The winner of Sefton Young Volunteer of the Year Award was Adam Gibson. Adam volunteers at Sean’s Place, a men’s mental health charity in Bootle. He supports men who have mental health difficulties and volunteers at the organisation’s Coffee and Connect socials.

This year, as part of our 50th Anniversary, we awarded a Special Recognition award, presented by Colonel Martin Amlot, Patron of Sefton CVS and Councillor Paulette Lappin, Vice Chair of Trustees at Sefton CVS. The recipient of the award trustee Paul Cummins, has supported the charity since its inception in 1974. His volunteering began in 1967 and he joined Sefton CVS as a Trustee in 1987; also chairing the board for 5 years, ensuring a legacy which continues to support engage and innovate, enabling the voluntary sector to thrive.

The celebration event is part of Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration designed to recognise the difference volunteers make and it’s a chance to say thank you. 

“Volunteers make such a difference, without them many of the communities of Sefton would be poorer. Holding our Volunteer Celebration event during Volunteers’ Week gives us the chance to thank all the volunteers in Sefton and encourage others to volunteer.” Said Lauren Jones, Volunteer Centre Sefton Coordinator.

Councillor June Burns, Mayor of Sefton said:

“It is so important that we recognise and celebrate the good work our marvellous volunteers do. They give up their precious time to the many varied activities, which in some cases wouldn’t survive without the time they give freely.”

Angela White, CEO of Sefton CVS, the organisation which Volunteer Centre Sefton operates under said:

“ As an organisation we work closely with many of the charities, community groups and faith institutions that have attended the event. It has been a joy to be able to meet and  recognise volunteers from across Sefton who make a difference to the causes they hold dear and to the local community.”

The groups and organisations who attended include:

  • Read Easy Merseyside – a literacy charity based across Merseyside
  • Parkhaven Trust – a charitable care home in Maghull who are dementia specialists.
  • Sefton Libraries – Sefton’s library service with locations across Sefton.
  • Stepping Stones – a social group for people with disabilities in Southport. 
  • The Venus Centre – an organisation that works with women and their families in Sefton.
  • Stem Cell Scoucers – a group that raises funds for Anthony Nolan Blood Cancer Charity.
  • Galloways Society for the Blind – sight loss charity based in the North West.
  • Linacre Methodist Mission –community church based in Litherland,
  • Community Connectors– support people to link in with their local communities, helping to reduce levels of social isolation and loneliness.
  • Sefton Carers Centre– part of the Carers Trust, this charity supports unpaid carers in Sefton.
  • Homestart Southport & Formby – a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through challenging times.
  • Friends of Rotton Row – a group of volunteers who look after Rotton Row, Southport’s famous herbaceous border.
  • Sefton Autism Support Hub – support people with autism throughout the borough.
  • Include-IT Mersey – Liverpool City Region Digital Inclusion Project: Increasing levels of digital inclusion, with a focus on essential digital skills.
  • Bootle Action Group – a community group dedicated to creating a cleaner, greener and brighter Bootle.
  • Friends of Alexandra and Coronation Parks – a group of volunteers who look after Alexandra and Coronation Parks in Crosby.
  • Cancer Research UK – national cancer charity, Sefton division.
  • Brighter Living Partnership – health and wellbeing charity based in Southport.
  • 8th Crosby & District Sea Scouts – part of the Scout movement, with a particular emphasis on boating and other water-based activities on the sea, rivers or lakes (canoeing, rafting, scuba, sailboarding).
  • Taking Root in Bootle – a project aiming to improve the Bootle area, part of Regenerus.
  • Sean’s Place – men’s Mental Health charity in Bootle.
  • Liverpool Seafarers Centre – front-line service offering support to 50,000 seafarers passing through the Port of Liverpool each year.
  • Mencap Liverpool & Sefton – a proud local voice of empowerment for learning disability in Liverpool and Sefton.
  • Cats Protection – national cat charity, Sefton branch.
  • Community Cancer Navigators – provides holistic support for people living with and beyond cancer.
  • Crosby Housing Association – a small, community-based housing association operating in Sefton and Liverpool.
  • Ainsdale in Bloom – a community group whose aims are to enhance and promote Ainsdale.
  • Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton– a charity dedicated to supporting people aged 50+ living in Liverpool & Sefton to stay independent and make more of life.
  • The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside – environment and nature charity that covers North Merseyside, Manchester and Lancashire.
  • Southport and Formby Macmillan Cancer Support Centre – support people living with cancer and their families in Southport and Formby.