THEY have all given their time tirelessly for the benefit of the Basingstoke community, but at a special event, it was the turn of some dedicated volunteers to take a bow.
The annual Celebration of Volunteering Awards are organised by Basingstoke Voluntary Services, which each year collects nominations from a range of community groups and recognises those who have truly gone above and beyond.
Between them, the winners have given thousands of hours selflessly helping out in the community.
Sarah Robinson, operational manager of volunteering at Basingstoke Voluntary Services, said: “These nominees are people who have simply been steadfast, reliable and committed in their concern for their community and the people who they help.
“Each of them would probably say they don’t deserve recognition, but without people like these, our community would be much poorer. This is our chance to say thank you.”
Each of the 37 nominees who attended the ceremony was presented with a certificate by Basingstoke and Deane Mayor Councillor Martin Biermann. Those honoured ranged from teenagers to people in their 70s and 80s.
Cllr Biermann told the assembled volunteers: “You should all be very proud of yourselves. There are so many people in Basingstoke who volunteer. You do a fantastic job.”
Pauline Williams, who founded charity RadCan, which is campaigning for the introduction of cancer treatments closer to Basingstoke, was one of those honoured at the awards.
Pauline, 78, was nominated by her fellow RadCan trustee Margaret Porter, who said she had been “relentless in lobbying the hospital authorities to take action and relentless in bringing the situation to the attention of as many people as possible.”
Pauline said she was “really pleased” to have won the award, saying: “It’s been a long journey for RadCan but now things are starting to happen.”
Louise Dadswell, 17, was nominated for her work with the British Red Cross. In her role as co-peer educator volunteer co-ordinator for the Basingstoke area, she has helped to organise first-aid sessions and also volunteers for the event first-aid team.
Louise, from Brighton Hill, is currently a student at Peter Symonds College, Winchester. She said: “I knew I had been nominated but I didn’t expect to be here tonight.”
Kathryn Bonham, who nominated Louise, described her as “very dedicated” and said she has “made a real difference in her area.”