Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

South Gloucestershire honours unsung heroes

Posted on Friday 14th April 2017 at 9:10 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of some of the winners of the 2017 Chair’s Community Awards.

Volunteers from Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford and Filton among those honoured at annual awards ceremony.

Nearly thirty unsung heroes and their families attended the Chair’s Community Awards at South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College’s WISE Campus on Thursday 16th March.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution local unpaid volunteers make to life in South Gloucestershire. These people give up their time freely to help others and bring our communities together, and were rewarded for their efforts at the special ceremony.

Chair of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) Cllr Erica Williams attended, along with the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, Vice Lord Lieutenant Robert Bernays, Group Chief Executive & Executive Principal of SGS College Kevin Hamblin and Principal and Deputy Chief of SGS College Sara-Jane Watkins.

Throughout the evening, award winners from across South Gloucestershire, and from a wide variety of backgrounds, were presented with their certificates by Cllr Williams and Sara-Jane Watkins. The final round was the Lord Lieutenant’s Special Award, which saw Dame Janet Trotter and Robert Bernays present £100 to Diya Barot and George Beaven for their valued services as mentors and anti-hate crime ambassadors in South Gloucestershire.

Cllr Williams said:

“I have been consistently amazed and inspired by the number of people from across our area who dedicate so much of their precious time in a voluntary capacity. These awards are a small way of recognising the effort and tireless service which volunteers provide for their local communities, and to say thank you to just some of them for continuing to make South Gloucestershire a great place to live and work.”

“Choosing from the nominations for this event has been a heart-warming and yet difficult task. All the nominees were clearly highly respected and admired for their commitment and hard work. It has been humbling to read all of the citations and I consider it to be one of the highlights of my role to be able to honour our award winners.”

The annual awards event is sponsored by SGS College. The evening also saw students from the Level 3 Musical Theatre Year 2 group, based at WISE campus of SGS College, perform some of their latest productions.

More: Photos and nominators’ citations for all the local winners »

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Spectacular volunteering effort at new skate park

Posted on Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 7:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Volunteering day at the new Bradley Stoke skate park.

On Thursday 29th September, there was a large scale ‘volunteering day’ at the new skate park. More than 60 volunteers participated, including 45 local volunteers, several people from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group and Green Gym, local young people (who also demonstrated some BMX skills during the lunch break) and Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) staff. In addition, the leisure centre contractors were “amazingly helpful”, providing some tools, advice and storage.

The volunteering day originated from BSTC (who built and run the skate park) expressing an interest in an ‘offer’ publicised through the local volunteering centre. The proposal by BSTC was to improve the landscaping of the new skate park, along with some of the adjoining nature reserve and leisure centre grounds. Many months of coordination, organisation and preparation followed with the town council’s youth development & participation worker Graham Baker liaising closely with a core group of local volunteers.

In addition to all the people involved, 2.5 tonnes of timber was delivered and many bulbs for planting acquired. It was also necessary to source a significant number of tools to help with all the tasks, these being mainly provided by Green Gym and the town council.

Two days of work were also put in ahead of the main event to prepare and cut the timber ready for Ikea-style assembly.

Achievements on the main volunteering day significantly advanced the landscaping of the new park at minimal cost. By the end of the day, five long chunky picnic benches were constructed, along with five 1m-cubed planters, made out of railway sleepers, with benches in between.

In addition, cutting back of brambles and clearance of ditches surrounding the skate park and on the adjoining nature reserve was undertaken, with the welcome assistance of Green Gym. Lots of spring bulbs were planted and a number of previously prepared tree pits were weeded.

Finally, there was a general clear up, raking and some litter picking. Everything that had been planned was achieved and it was generally acknowledged as an impressive and rewarding effort by all involved.

More; The next stage will be to plant 13 trees in late November »

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Lloyds Banking Group volunteer team transforms pallets into playthings

Posted on Sunday 18th October 2015 at 10:33 pm by SH (Editor)

Bug hotel created by volunteers from Lloyds Banking Group at Abacus Pre-School @ Meadowbrook, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Volunteers from the local offices of a national banking firm have created several unique pieces of learning and play equipment for a Bradley Stoke pre-school.

Each year, Lloyds Banking Group supports its staff to spend a day out of the office volunteering on projects to benefit the community. The scheme is known as ‘A Day to Make a Difference’.

The husband of a member of staff at Abacus Pre-School @ Meadowbrook suggested that his team could visit Meadowbrook to help with a project.

In previous years, the team has helped at a nature reserve, helped at a scout camp and refreshed a village green. This year, the team (Michelle, Caroline, Justin, Chris, Simon, and Pete) was seeking a more creative challenge!

Caroline liaised with Abacus to discuss ideas and meticulous plans were quickly drawn up to transform wooden pallets into three different creations, the pallets being kindly donated by one of the pre-school’s parents.

During two days in the summer holidays, the team created a bug mansion, two mud kitchens and two reading benches, and also provided a bird table and feeders.

The reading benches have formed a fantastic new social area where the children can gather for outside snack and story time, but are also used as a quiet reading zone.

Staff at the pre-school say the ever popular mud kitchens are always busy with children making fabulous mud pies, cakes and concoctions, whilst the bug mansion is a great focal point and has been observed and discussed with great interest, especially the hedgehog hole!

The children are now patiently awaiting the arrival of some new resident bugs.

More photos of the volunteers’ creations »

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MS Therapy Centre appeals for volunteers

Posted on Thursday 20th August 2015 at 11:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Volunteer oxygen operator Ozioma and new trainee operator Steve - at the West of England MS Therapy Centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

The West of England MS Therapy Centre in Wheatfield Drive, Bradley Stoke is on the lookout for new volunteers to work as oxygen chamber operators.

The centre provides treatments and therapies to people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological conditions in the Bristol and surrounding area. For over 30 years, MS therapy centres have been offering oxygen therapy as it can help relieve a number of the most common symptoms of MS.

The centre currently has 14 volunteer oxygen operators who between them run 26 oxygen sessions a week, Monday to Friday during opening hours. On average there are 115 people using the chamber every month. People accessing oxygen therapy have varying levels of mobility and care requirements. Around 75% of centre members have multiple sclerosis but the centre also caters for people with neurological conditions and offers services to anyone who would benefit from the therapies. Current members accessing oxygen therapy include those with broken bones, cancer, stroke, ulcers, fibromalgia, ME and Parkinson’s amongst others.

Doro Pasantes, centre manager, said: “As a small charity the MS therapy centre relies heavily on volunteers and the oxygen chamber operators are very much a part of our community. Over time they get to know our members and many of them have been with us a long time. We couldn’t run our services and benefit so many people without them.”

Team work

The oxygen chamber is run with two volunteers at any one time. The operators have different skill levels and it is possible to become an operator trained to a basic level within a couple of days. The number of sessions means that anyone with time to spare can train up quickly and will be able to help run sessions for members.

The role is varied, but as well as learning the technical aspects of operating an eight-seater oxygen chamber, there is also the care and support that is needed by members using the chamber.

More: Satisfaction of helping other people; meet and make new friends »

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