v, The National Young Volunteers Service

v, The National Young Volunteers Service

December 02, 2009 06:13 ET

Young Volunteers From Around the Country are Celebrated at the Star-Studded vinspired National Awards


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) –

Editors Note: There is a photograph and a video associated with this press release.

The inaugural vinspired national awards took place last night to celebrate young volunteers for their outstanding contributions to their communities. Supported by Prince William, Gordon Brown and David Cameron and attended by celebrities including Tinchy Stryder and T4's Jameela Jamil, ten young volunteers were given a vinspired national award at the ceremony in London.

These inspirational young people have been recognised for a wide range of projects including an initiative to tackle cyber bullying, sexual health education, art therapy and recycling schemes.

Praising the winners, Prince William said: "I am delighted to support the vinspired national awards ceremony, which represents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of young people in neighbourhoods up and down this Country. The winners of the vinspired national awards highlight the diverse range of volunteering opportunities that are available to young people. The awards showcase what can be achieved when young people apply their remarkable energies and determination. They also demonstrate the enormously positive contribution 16 to 25 year-olds can make to our society through volunteering."

Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister said: "I am proud to support the vinspired national awards. The young people who have been nominated for these awards are an inspiration, because they are a reminder of the power of all our young people to make a difference, to make the world around a better place to be. In every school, in every neighbourhood, there are young people who are choosing to spend their time doing something good for somebody else – simple acts of kindness that change the world every day. It is time we celebrated all that they do."

The following volunteers received a vinspired national award:

  • The Fresh Award - Gavin James Freeman, 21 (East Midlands) – supports older people to follow up existing interests, develop new ones and supports learning.
  • The Eco Award - Katherine Haywood, 17 (West Midlands) – is working on a completely 'green' building made out of recycled materials to be used as a youth centre once completed
  • The Energy Award - Liz Starkey, 49 (North East) – supported a Youth Action Team to run a successful anti-cyber bullying campaign
  • The Genius Award - Tom Stone, 24 (East Midlands) – involved in rebranding a drop-in youth centre, including glow in the dark paint and an interactive graffiti wall
  • The Unite Award - Aik Saath: (South East) – peer training team, delivering workshops and sessions on conflict resolution and anti-racism in Slough
  • The Bridge Award - Claire Louise Sedgwick, 20 (North East) – runs a community creative writing project aimed at bringing together asylum seekers, refugees and the local community
  • The Shout Award- Holly Shaw, 22 (North West) – raised awareness of the current shortage of organ donations in the UK
  • The Legend Award - Alexander McLean, 24 (London) – set up and runs African Prisons Project (APP) supporting and leading a group of volunteers to improve prison services in Africa
  • The Inspired Award - Richard Simmons, 23 (East Midlands) – runs an art therapy organisation named 'Art is the cure'
  • The Transform Award - Siobhan Pyburn (South East) – created a website and raised awareness of the effects of sexual abuse

Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Leader of the Conservative Party
"I am delighted to send my congratulations to all the young volunteers who have shown such dedication and expertise, and have made such a difference to their communities and their environment as a result. They can be proud of all they have achieved."

Tinchy said: "I think the vinspired national awards are a good thing and I am happy to be involved. The work the volunteers are doing to help their community is really positive."

The business community also recognises how crucial youth volunteering is. Dragon's Den's James Caan said: "I am thrilled to be part of the vinspired national awards. It's about time we recognise young people for the contribution they make to their communities though volunteering and it is also an opportunity to showcase the experience volunteers can get that may help them move in the right direction when looking for work."

v's Chief Executive, Terry Ryall, said: "At v, we feel that young people deserve to be recognised for the incredible volunteering work that they do. We are really proud of the ten category winners of our first vinspired national awards. We hope that we have been able to celebrate these exceptional individuals and all the young volunteers out there who make a big different to their communities."

To find out more or get involved visit www.vinspired.com/nationalawards

Notes to Editors

v, The National Young Volunteers Service aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers (aged 16-25) in England. We do this by funding voluntary organisations all over England to create inspiring, diverse opportunities and by helping to overcome barriers that stop people from taking action to improve lives, communities and the planet. Our aim is to create a culture where volunteering comes naturally – and where the benefits of volunteering are understood and celebrated.

To do this we have two major streams of activity: as a volunteering funder; and as a central point of contact for all 16-25s.

  • Working in partnership with over 500 voluntary, community and public sector organisations more than 430,000 young people aged 16-25 years have taken part in volunteering funded by v. And that figure is set to grow to more than a million with 900,000 opportunities already commissioned by v.
  • In addition, we have attracted over Pounds Sterling 40m from the private sector.
  • vinspired.com is our consumer facing brand and a place where people can search for local volunteering opportunities and share experiences using online tools including blogging and video. The site is constantly evolving and strives to challenge the traditional perceptions of volunteering trough its look, feel, language and usability.
  • v has also provided a national framework to deliver a local service, by introducing 107 vinvolved teams (one in each local authority area across England) to act as central hubs within the community for potential volunteers, businesses, charities and other local networks.
  • Furthermore, v has already introduced an innovative online awards scheme, which enables young people across England to gain recognition for 50 hours of community action. The v50 Award provides young people with an important opportunity to record the hours spent volunteering, and reflect on the skills they have gained through their placements. On completion of the v50 Award, young volunteers can progress onto the vimpact Award, motivating them to continue making a positive contribution to their community"

v is an independent charity launched in May 2006 as a result of the Russell Commission report, A National Framework for Youth Action and Engagement.

See vinspired.com for more information on what we do and how we do it.

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