PAVS celebrates local heroes

First published in County News

Local people who “make the world go around” were recently celebrated at the PAVS Volunteer of the Year awards.

Charities from all over the county came together at the Haverfordwest Pavilion to celebrate the best of Pembrokeshire volunteering.

Now in its fifth year, the awards ceremony recognised the hard work of individuals and groups, who give up their time to help their communities.

PAVS chief officer Sue Leonard said: “The awards are a great opportunity for organisations to celebrate and thank volunteers who have devoted a lot of time to support people in their communities.

“Every single one of the nominees deserves the award, which just shows the effort that goes into volunteering in Pembrokeshire.”

The Sunderland Trust took the award in the over- 25 group category, while PATCH Youth Group scooped the group under- 25s.

The Mary Sigley Award, which recognised the nominee who overcame a personal barrier to engage in volunteering, was presented to Katerina Foster, of PATCH.

Katerina, who has been volunteering for 18 months, said: “Since I started volunteering, I have grown in confidence.

I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this charity – the people behind it are amazing, they have really built me up.”

Abigail Marriott, from Barnardo’s Pembrokeshire Family Link V-Linx Project, won the individual under-25 category, while PATCH’s Tracy Olin took the over-25s title.

Tracy, who set up PATCH three years ago, said: “I am shocked, I put my volunteers up to win, and never thought that I would be nominated myself.

“PATCH is a community supported project, and I want to thank everyone who volunteers and donates – we really get to see the best of people.”

The trustee award was presented to Lucy Hinksman, of Pembrokeshire People First, while the youngest volunteer award was scooped by three-year-old Katya Foster, who helps out with her mum at PATCH.

Sue Leonard added: “There are people going on strike over their £50,000 pensions, while these volunteers are still doing what they are doing without financial recompense.

“Without them, the health and social care system would collapse. They make the world go around, and they do it for nothing.

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