Jodie McCaughan, 19, was announced as the winner of the inaugural award to recognise students who have made an outstanding contribution to the community at a ceremony on Wednesday, 3 June 2009.
Also celebrating were Ann Hayward, Edward Jackson and Stephen Ross, who won Volunteering England Gold Awards for their achievements in promoting volunteering to other students.
Jodie, from Coventry, is studying a full-time combined degree in Social Care and Criminal Justice but also volunteers with Sandwell Advocacy. The organisation provides one-to-one support for adults who have an identified health or social care need.
Jodie began as a Citizen Advocacy Case Worker in 2007, and works with designated “partners” who are some of the most vulnerable and at risk members of the community. She is also involved in fundraising, training and committee representation, and even launched a new Citizen Advocacy Interpreting Project, which uses the skills of volunteers who speak a wide range of languages.
Jodie was presented with a specially designed bronze award, £500 worth of vouchers and a cheque, courtesy of sponsors The Midcounties Co-operative, for Sandwell Advocacy at the ceremony at Wolverhampton City Campus.
Paddy Elsmore, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Sandwell Advocacy, said: “Jodie is one of the most outstanding young people it has been my pleasure to work with. Her contributions to the development of volunteering within our organisation have been truly remarkable.”
Volunteering England’s Gold Award is a national student volunteering award that recognises achievement, dedication and leadership within further and higher education.
Ann Hayward, 36, is a 2nd year Interpreting (British Sign Language/English) student. As well as being a Student Envoy, Ann, from Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton, is a student representative and volunteers working with the deaf community. Edward Jackson, from Essington, is in his second year of an English degree. In addition to being a University Student Envoy, 20-year-old Edward volunteers with The National Trust at Moseley Old Hall, Fordhouses. Criminal Justice student Stephen Ross volunteers with Victim Support in Walsall and is also a Student Envoy.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was designed by a School of Art & Design student, Geraldine Shepherd, who also received a prize.
Pat Green, Active Volunteers Co-ordinator, said: “We are very keen to celebrate the achievements of all of our hundreds of volunteers who are engaged in such a variety of activities across the region. We also want to recognise the very valuable contribution they make to the community, and are delighted to present these awards to such deserving students.”
For more information about volunteering at the University, visit www.wlv.ac.uk/activevol
Picture: Trish Poole from Midcounties Co-operative, sponsors of the award, presents the trophy to winning student Jodie McCaughan, with Active Volunters Co-ordinator Pat Green looking on.