Community Journalist Calum Harbor reports on last week’s Volunteer Awards and reflects on the importance of events like these
On 6 June 2018, Reading Voluntary Action honoured volunteers and their work in a celebration called the Reading Volunteer Awards. Held in the beautiful Shehnai Olympia Ballroom, people from across Reading came to honour the volunteers who go the extra mile in making the town a better place.
The guests ranged from the young to the retired. As they arrived they were entertained by a ukulele band called Chord Capers. As the Awards Show itself got underway, individuals were recognised in categories including Can-Do, Student Volunteer, and Sports Champion. Multiple organisations were also honoured for their contributions. Thirteen groups were in attendance, all of them different and providing help to the community, such as IRiS, who help with addictions, and Reading Museum, which has been leading a campaign to make Reading better known as a historical town. They have also been involved in the restoration of the Reading Abbey ruins which reopen to the public on 16 June.
Winners came to the front to collect their award, have their photograph taken, and shake the hand of the Mayor of Reading, Councillor Debs Edwards, who had come to congratulate the winners on their amazing achievements.
Every single one deserved it. Being a volunteer myself and having worked alongside others, I know the scale of the contribution volunteering makes. Without such people, some things would simply not be possible. Organisations would not have the reach they do, lives would not be changed for the better, and the world would be a darker place without their kindness.
Volunteering is something that everyone from all walks of life can do even if it’s only for an hour a week, but it makes all the difference to small charitable organisations and those in need.
That’s why the Reading Volunteer Awards is a great event. The awards have opened my eyes to the many charities in Reading and their services to the local community. Hopefully next year’s awards will celebrate volunteers from more charities and be even more fantastic than this year’s.
More post-event stories and photos can be found here.