Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide Building Society

April 10, 2006 06:34 ET

2006 Nationwide Awards - Last Chance To Nominate Your Local Hero

SWINDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - April 10, 2006) - Do you know someone who deserves special recognition for their work in the community? If so, you need to act quickly! The closing date for nominations for the 2006 Nationwide Awards for Voluntary Endeavour is Friday 28 April.

Organised by Nationwide Building Society, in association with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Newspaper Society, the Nationwide Awards for Voluntary Endeavour are designed to reward and recognise the 'local heroes' whose voluntary work or community activity has made a real difference to peoples' lives.

Throughout the UK there are thousands of people who happily give up their time to help their local communities. From fundraising for a charity to caring for a sick relation or elderly neighbour, these 'local heroes' don't expect recognition, but they certainly deserve it. This is your chance to tell us why you think they deserve an award, what kind of work they have been involved in, how much time and effort they have put in and what impact this has had on the local community.

If you think someone you know deserves an award - pick up a leaflet/nomination form from your local branch of Nationwide Building Society or local public library, give us a call on 01793 655182 or check the web site at

Remember - all entries must be received by the closing date of Friday 28 April 2006.

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Notes to editors:
There are four award categories:
- Young people under 18 as individuals
- Young people under 18 in groups
- Adults as individuals
- Adults in groups

Initially two regional winners in each category will be selected making a total of eight in each of seven regions within England, together with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The eighty regional winners will each receive an attractive plaque, along with GBP50 dining out vouchers for individuals or GBP100 for groups.

From each region and home nation, four finalists will win gifts to the value of GBP250 and a trophy, plus a GBP500 donation to the charity or cause of their choice.

From the forty finalists, four national winners will be chosen, one in each category. They will each receive gifts to the value of GBP500, together with a GBP2,500 donation to the charity or cause of their choice and a trophy.

Last year's winners were:

Winner of the Young Person Under 18 Individual Award - Natalie Payne - Barnsley, Yorkshire

Natalie was only 15 years old when she responded to a recruitment advertisement to become a volunteer with the Barnsley Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Helpline. Despite being told she was too young, Natalie was still thoroughly enthusiastic and agreed to commit her time and energy. She undertook a 60 hour training course during the Summer of 2004 and since has shown a level of dedication and maturity beyond her years. Natalie volunteered to become a member of the Management Committee, a role not generally coveted amongst volunteers, and at last year's AGM was unanimously approved as Secretary. Natalie attends conferences, community events, training sessions, raises funds and recently used personal contacts to enable the helpline to have a professional website designed enabling more women to access its services.

Winners of the Young People Under 18 Group Award - Nelson Youth Centre Senior Helpers Group - Nelson, Lancashire

This group of 13-17 year olds run a voluntary junior youth club for 8-11 years olds from deprived backgrounds. It is the only club in the area run by and for both white and Asian children, and one of only a few catering for this age group. The group give around 10 hours of their time every week to bring younger members of the community together, organise activities, raise funds for charity and help to reduce potential crime in the area. The project has been running for 3 years, with the existing group being responsible for the past 12 months. They are setting a positive example in their community for other young people; taking a stand against racism, crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Winner of the Adult Individual Award - Edna Speed - Chester, Cheshire

Edna has spent the last 30 years voluntarily helping homeless families through her charity, Save the Family. Her work started on the Lache Estate in Chester in the 1970's when she saw a desperate and growing need for help and support for socially excluded families. In 1985 after much fundraising and negotiation she secured the purchase of Plas Bellin Hall. She has devoted her retirement to the refurbishment and future of the accommodation and training centre which now provides a place for over 35 homeless families from across the UK to live and rebuild their lives. Literally thousands of families have come to the centre for help and all have been resettled back in the local community equipped with life skills to help them succeed. Edna is a hands-on individual visiting the centre every day to support the families in crisis as well as those who have moved back into the community and makes herself available 24-hours a day.

Winners of the Adult Group Award - Friends of Park Wood - Waterlooville, Portsmouth

This group of people have come together to restore an urban wood used by drug dealers and troublesome youths into a clean and inviting traditional English wood for the local residents to enjoy. They formed 5 years ago and have produced leaflets, a history book, information boards, laid paths, planted new shrubs and trees, enabled access for the disabled, set up guided walks, arranged woodland festivals and school visits. If the group had not restored the woods, it would have become derelict and unsafe, now it's a well known attraction and a great achievement for the community.

Nationwide also has an award winning Internet site: For studio quality interviews Nationwide is equipped with an ISDN system using G722 and APTX codes for both BBC and IR links: ISDN Number: 01793 845014

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