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Volunteers celebrated at 2018 ceremony

Published on 21 September 2018 10:45 AM

This week valued volunteers from Age UK Northumberland have been celebrated at an awards cermony to commend the vital work that they carry out to help older people in the county.

The Big Thank You Volunteer Awards was introduced in 2017 to show Age UK Northumberland’s commitment to volunteers and the services that they provide to the older people of Northumberland. Service users and staff were invited to nominate volunteers for an award and the winners were announced on 12 September at The Round House in Ashington.

This year a new award for Befriending was added to the categories following the launch of a new telephone befriending service in July and the development of social befriending group, Social Fridays.

Award Winners:

Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Michael Gunning

Brian Smith Information and Advice Award 2018 – Simon Buist

Befriending Volunteer 2018 – Liz Bratton

Volunteer Advocates 2018 – Volunteer Advocacy Team

The Round House Volunteers 2018 - Bill Cook and Keith Brotherton (Digital Volunteers)

Lunch Club Volunteer 2018 – Ruth Bartlett (Allendale Lunch Club)

Day Centre Volunteer 2018 – Shirley Markham (Isabella Day Centre, Blyth)

Health and Wellbeing Volunteer 2018 - Angela Souter

Admin Volunteer 2018 - Elaine Nelson

The Information and Advice Award was re-named this year as a dedication to Welfare Benefits, Brian Smith, who passed away earlier this year. Brian was a much valued volunteer of Age UK Northumberland and he was part of the Information and Advice Team for over 7 years. 

All of the Age UK Northumberland volunteers were invited to the ceremony; guests enjoyed a prosecco Afternoon Tea and entertainment from the Jospehine Butler Primary School Choir.

Andrew Marsh, Chair of Trustees at Age UK Northumberland, said: “We couldn’t provide the level of service that we do without our volunteers and staff. Collectively volunteers, provide over 25,000 hours of care, advice, support and friendship and I have seen the positive impact this has on individuals lives. On behalf of myself and the Board of Trustees, I would like to say thank you to everyone that volunteers to help the older people of Northumberland.”

Susan Chrisp, Volunteer Co-ordinator is proud to have been a part of the awards: “My role at Age UK Northumberland is an absolute pleasure, I am always astounded by the number of people who want to help in any way that they can and who are prepared to give up their free time to do so. It was great to celebrate the achievements of our volunteers and I would like to congratulate the award winners on their achievement.”

Recruitment of new volunteers is part of Susan’s role within the organisation and she is always looking for new volunteers to run the increasing number of services that the charity provides. To find out more about volunteering and how you can help, please contact Susan Chrisp at: or call: 01670 784 800


Would you like to make a difference to the lives of older people? Volunteer today!