Arts volunteers make arts, culture and heritage happen! @DudleyCVS @WeAreBCR @BHMTC #dva17 #nominatenow

Most of your favourite arts and heritage events, and venues rely on volunteers to do roles such as helping in museums, providing support backstage at performances, as well as facilitating community arts, drama and music. A host of inspirational volunteers take up these roles and enjoy the opportunity to get their creative juices flowing!

Know an amazing volunteer who gives their time to support the arts? drama? music? heritage? please nominate them now!

Want some inspiration? Why not visit last year’s blog to read about our amazing awardees?

Volunteers add colour to our communities – meet our final poster star #sportyvolunteers #dva17

Our amazing Sporting Champion in 2017 was Paul Gough from Priory Boxing Club and he was a unanimous choice by our Panel. There are more volunteering supporting sport than any other area, so I’m sure you must know someone who does just that. Why not nominate them now?

Paul is the driving force behind Priory Amateur Boxing Club who has ensured that facilities at Priory Park have been extended and improved.

Paul has volunteered at Priory Amateur Boxing Club for some 22 years. In that time he has encouraged hundreds of local young people to train and to focus on a positive activity. For some, this has developed into a sporting career where they have gone on to achieve representative honours and to win titles. For the majority Paul has provided them with something constructive to do that has an element of discipline.

For the first 17 years of his involvement Paul and the Boxing Club operated from a cramped single room in Priory Park. He developed a vision for extending and improving the facilities and through hard work and tenacity Paul secured funding from Sport England and other sources including Landfill Tax monies, engaged partners to assist in delivering the bigger, modern, facilities and earlier in 2016 the new premises were formally opened by Ian Austin MP who has long supported the efforts of Paul and his colleagues.

Paul has delivered new sporting facilities in the Castle & Priory Ward that provide for the Amateur Boxing Club but which also offer opportunities for other local people to exercise and keep fit. His passion, commitment and tenacity have combined to deliver high quality facilities that will continue to engage local people in a positive activity in which they are able to progress and to achieve.

Volunteers add colour to our communities – our poster stars No. 4 #nevertoooldtovolunteer #lifelongcommitment #dva17

Our fourth poster stars are June Bowen and Joan Freeman, two very special volunteers who’ve volunteered for at least 60 years and probably more! They’ve helped with their local church, cubs group and also here at Dudley CVS. We felt they were a great choice for this year’s campaign as they clearly demonstrate you are never too old to volunteer!

Do you know someone who’s volunteered for years? Why not nominate them now for our prestigious Gordon Lindsay Award for Long Service.

Volunteers add colour to our communities – our poster stars No. 3 #makingpeoplefeelbetter #wellbeing #dva17

Bailey was a rather special nominee in 2016 and the first ever canine awardee.  Bailey volunteered at Age UK Sedgley day centre and loved to visit his friends there.

We’ve featured him in our campaign as he makes people happy and loves to socialise.  I’m sure you must know some special volunteers to help boost wellbeing for the lonely, or isolated, so why not nominate them now?

Age UK Dudley’s Volunteer Manager Mrs René Evans said “dogs have an amazing talent to bond with people and Bailey is no exception. Our clients love having him around and really look forward to his visits, as a volunteer he is perfect in his role as ‘good companion’.”

Bailey also promotes the work of the organisation through wearing his badge whilst attending events and generally being out and about.

Since attending Sedgley, Bailey has had to learn that he is to wait until he is offered toast and not feel tempted to pinch it, this is still a learning curve for him.

His supervisor Mrs Denise Hinks says “Bailey has enriched our clients lives as when he comes in it always puts a smile on their faces as he gallops from person to person to say hello.

Many clients remember him and always ask about him and when he will next be coming in. One client who has dementia recalled many happy memories as to when he and his family bred Dobermans throughout his life. His owner, Ms Jenny Bates (Co-ordinator Age UK Dudley), said “Bailey can sense when he needs to be gentle around our clients and behaves accordingly, unlike when he is at home being a little boisterous at times, many clients ask to see photos of Bailey and are far more interested in seeing him than me”.

Bailey is always a happy chappy especially when lunches are served, we are hoping that Bailey will become a centre cleaner as he appears to be showing a strong inclination for hoovering up!