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Volunteers celebrated for National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is underway, with the region’s volunteers today recognised in the New England Volunteer Awards for their selfless community service.

31 locals were nominated across the Armidale Volunteer Referral Service (AVRS) Awards and the Alwyn Jones Community Service Award.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley said it was an opportunity to celebrate the many volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping others.

 “We had a record list of volunteers nominated this year, and I would like to personally thank them all for everything they do for our region,” said Mayor Tiley.

“Volunteers are the fabric of our community, so it is important to let them know they are valued and that their efforts are appreciated.”

Council is also supporting the local State Emergency Service Unit (SES) through lighting up the Armidale Town Hall in orange tomorrow as part of Wear it Orange Wednesday.

 “The SES plays a vital role in our community, so I am passionate about supporting this cause and raising awareness around the tireless work these volunteers do,” he said.

“’Whether it’s assisting in natural disasters, or supporting emergency services agencies in rescues, there is so much to thank these volunteers for.”

National Volunteer Week will run until May 23.

See below for a list of award recipients:

AVRS Adult Volunteer of the Year – 25 – 64 years – Michael Kean
Michael Kean was recognised for his contribution to the 2ARM community radio station. Michael has helped the station adapt to changes in technology and is working on ensuring the station stays relevant through introducing podcasting and smart speakers. He has also facilitated the replacement of the ageing studio equipment. Michael is also being recognised for his outstanding work coming up with solutions during the COVID-10 lockdown when announcers had to work from home.

AVRS Senior Volunteer of the Year – 65 years and over – Brian Flint
Brian Flint was recognised for his dedication to the Armidale PCYC. Mr Flint took over the running of the weights section in 1965, and to this day he still continues to train people and maintain the gym. Volunteering most weekends and afternoons, his volunteer work ranges from repair work to the club, driving the after school bus, assisting in the running of the monthly markets and any other fundraiser that is run on a weekend.

AVRS Volunteer Team of the Year – Armidale & Uralla Meals on Wheels
The team of volunteers at Meals on Wheels have worked tirelessly over the past year to continue to deliver throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 volunteers help deliver meals each day, and provide a valuable service to vulnerable and isolated people within our community.

AVRS Excellence in Volunteer Management – Bruce Stuart
Bruce Stuart was recognised for his work with Food Blessings which is a team-based ministry providing food and hampers to those in need.
Bruce has devoted several years to growing Food Blessings into a vibrant community service for Armidale, and as  the Volunteer Manager he co-ordinates his volunteers to stock shelves, pack hampers and fruit and vegetable bags with goods he has ordered from FOODBANK NSW.
Bruce values his volunteers, using their strengths to achieve an efficient, well-run organisation.

Alwyn Jones Community Service Award – Brian Flint
In addition to being named the AVRS Senior Volunteer of the Year award, Brian Flint has also been awarded the Alwyn Jones Community Service Award for his 60 years of service to the PCYC.

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