Central West recognises volunteers in Award ceremony
Monday, 8 October 2012
Volunteers from the Central West region gathered last Friday for the 2012 Central West Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony co-hosted by The Centre for Volunteering and Volunteering Central West.
Tony Glassgow of West Wyalong was named the 2012 Central West Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community during a ceremony held in Bathurst on Friday, 5 October 2012.
The annual NSW Volunteer of the Year Award program recognises the efforts and achievements of the State's millions of volunteers.
Tony was recognised for his extensive volunteering with Country Hope for more than four years.
Tony Glasgow knows how to raise money. In his community of West Wyalong, he has established Country Hope, a charity that aims to support the families of children with life threatening illnesses in the region.
"What's special about Tony is that he creates these fundraising opportunities through his own initiative" said Chris Blake, Manager of Country Hope. With one project alone, a food vending machine at the local mine, he has raised $25,000. This effort is just one of the many projects he undertakes to raise money for Country Hope.
Tony is now in the running to win the prestigious 2012 NSW Volunteer of the Year award, with the winner to be announced by the Hon. Victor Dominello, Citizenship and Communities Minister, at the State Award ceremony on Wednesday, 5 December 2012 in Sydney.
Tony will receive a $300 donation to the not-for-profit of his choice to help it continue its outstanding work.
Event co-host, Volunteering Central West's Lisa Pierce, said that the event was very rewarding. "Volunteers are the lifeblood of local communities and are not recognised as often as they should be for their valuable, selfless commitment," she said.
The Centre for Volunteering's NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager, Kristin Sinclair, said the quality and quantity of nominations received for the Central West region was outstanding.
"The Central West Region's nominees were of an exceptional standard but the judges felt that Tony's tireless dedication to Country Hope was a standout," Kristin said.
Other Award winners announced at the ceremony are Micheala Collins, 2012 Central West Youth Volunteer of the Year, and the Bathurst Seymour Centre Volunteer Team and the Lithgow Men's Shed which tied for the 2012 Central West Volunteer Team of the Year: all received a $200 donation for their organisation.
The 2012 Central West Youth Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Micheala Collins of Blayney who has been volunteering with Girl Guides Association Australia – Blayney Star Girl Guides for over four years. Micheala Collins is passionate about The Blayney Star Girl Guides. A member since she was 12 she has worked her way up to Junior Leader and now acts as a mentor to the younger Guides. In her role as a Junior Leader Micheala organizes weekly activities for the girls who are aged between 5-11 years old. Micheala suffers from Brittle Bone disease, and from time to time finds herself incapacitated. Yet this doesn't stop her getting involved and finding other ways to participate with the Guides, such as her current Friendship Bracelet project for the Sangam Centre in India. Her joy and optimism radiate to those around her and her community.
This year, in Central West, for the first time in the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award history, we have a tie. Judges were unable to separate these two teams:
The Bathurst Seymour Centre Volunteer Team is one of two winners of the 2012 Central West Volunteer Team of the Year Award. The Volunteer Team is devoted to improving the quality of life of people who are frail aged (including people with dementia), people with a disability and their carers so that they can continue to live in the Bathurst Community. The team includes: the Management Committee (some have volunteered for over 20 years) who govern service, enable the Centre's service to comply with legislation and the many changes that apply, manage finances and the Strategic Management Plan; and secondly, the Centre's operational volunteers, who support the day to day running of the centre. Bathurst Seymour Centre could not function without its wonderful volunteers. In addition to the Management Committee, the Operational volunteers undertake numerous tasks including: Assisting clients with games and activities, assisting with outings, helping in the kitchen abd dining room with client refreshments and meals, assisting with the bus run, gardening, hand and foot massages, computer tutoring, manicures, healthy exercise program and Tai Chi, cooking group, arts and crafts etc. Team members are always looking for ways to improve the lives of the clients.
The Lithgow Men's Shed's 20 volunteers are also winners of the 2012 Central West Volunteer Team of the Year Award. After more than two years of searching for a suitable venue for the Lithgow Men's Shed, in late 2010 the group accepted Council's offer to occupy and renovate a disused scout hall in great disrepair – so much disrepair that council estimated $150,000-$290,000 to renovate or replace the building. Men's Shed used local, State and Federal Grants to purchase materials to $40,000. Whilst the men were to provide free labour, council was sure the project would come to an early standstill due to limited funds. Future occupancy of the Shed was also a controversial subject within the local area with many wanting the Hall to be retained for a multitude of community and social activities. Council therefore imposed the further condition that the Hall would ultimately be returned to the community leaving Men's Shed with the prospect of one day being homeless again.
In just nine months Men's Shed members completed the renovation. As work progressed, pride in what was being achieved quickly took prominence. The team paid little heed with who may ultimately occupy the premises and were only concerned that their work be completed in a tradesman like manner, the the highest standard possible. The project was completed for just 28% of the council's original costing. In addition to a new building, the Men's Shed developed strong bonds as a group.
Congratulations to all of the Central West winners.
Robert Strang of Orange who has been volunteering with (CAMS) - Confederation of Australian Motor Sport. Ltd for ten years was recognised for his outstanding community work with a nominee certificate.
Award ceremonies will be held in the Award's 19 Regions across NSW throughout October and November, with the regional winners in the running for the 2012 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award.
The winner of the 2012 NSW Volunteer of the Year will receive a $1,500 donation to their not-for-profit organisation, Youth and Senior, Team and Not-for-Profit of the Year will each receive a $1,000 donation.
The Award is an initiative of The Centre for Volunteering, the peak body for volunteering NSW. Now in its fifth year, this is the state-wide Award program recognising and thanking the volunteers in NSW who generously give more than 235 million work hours each year in NSW, contributing an extraordinary $5 billion to the State's economy.
"The week-in week-out contributions that volunteers make stretch from aged care, education, child welfare and counselling, through to emergency callouts, event control, running sports, environmental care and animal protection. There's hardly an area of life which is not helped by volunteering," Kristin said.
Nominations are still open for the 2012 NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year and the 2012 NSW Excellence in NFP Volunteer Management. Both categories close 31 October. Nominate online at www.nswvolunteerawards.com or call 02 9261 3600 for a nomination form.
NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager, The Centre for Volunteering
0412 313 359