Volunteers who go the extra mile are honoured at Portsmouth awards

From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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  • Ceremony takes place at Fratton Park
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THEY are the selfless people who go out of their way to help others.

And last night they were given the recognition they thoroughly deserved at an awards ceremony.

The Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteer Awards took place at Fratton Park last night as part of Volunteers Week 2016.

This is the second year of the awards, which are organised by Portsmouth Together and Pompey in the Community to celebrate volunteers and volunteering in the city.

The top honour of the night – Volunteer of the Year – went to John Jenkins MBE, from Portsmouth Museums and Visitor Services, who also won the Arts, Culture and Heritage award.

The 96-year-old from Milton has volunteered daily at the D-Day Museum in Southsea for more than 10 years, relating his wartime experiences to visitors.

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller with Volunteer of the Year John Jenkins, and Young Volunteer of the Year Tyler Foyle

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller with Volunteer of the Year John Jenkins, and Young Volunteer of the Year Tyler Foyle

He said: ‘It is amazing to win. I am quite surprised, if a bit overwhelmed.’

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Volunteering gave me an opportunity to do more. I believe that volunteering has unlocked my potential.

The Young Volunteer of the Year award went to Tyler Foyle, from Eastney, who also won the My Community award.

The 16-year-old has been volunteering in the community cohesion team at Pompey in the Community since 2009.

He said: ‘I didn’t expect to get the Young Volunteer of the Year award. I’m shocked, to be genuinely honest. It’s overwhelming. I didn’t expect to get two awards in one night – it’s quite an achievement.’

Also among the winners was 88-year-old Edna Etches, from Paulsgrove, who has volunteered at charity Naomi House for 18 years.

Gethin Jones, from Unlocking Potential, spoke at the start of the night about how volunteering with a sailing trust helped him turn his life around.

The former criminal, from Portsmouth, said volunteering helped him to quit crime and drugs.

He said: ‘I believe that volunteering has unlocked my potential.’

All the winners were presented with a glass trophy and a certificate from the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor David Fuller. Cllr Fuller said: ‘Volunteering is an important part of the community, I volunteered many years ago and I know just how important it can be.

‘Without volunteers, many organisations that do such great work would not be able to function.

‘I am pleased to be here and very honoured. I want to thank the sponsors for making the night possible and to congratulate every winner.’

Guests were also treated to a performance from teenage singer-songwriter Ella Payne.

THE WINNERS

The Cleaning and Greening award:

Thao Phuong from Volunteering in Portsmouth (UPSU)

Goff Gleadle from Southsea Greenhouse

Team - 147 Gardening Club volunteering team

The My Community award:

Tyler Foyle from Pompey in the Community

Edna Etches from Naomi House

Team - Volunteers from the Carers Centre

The Arts, Culture and Heritage award:

John Jenkins for his work supporting the D-Day Museum

Team - M.33 Visitor Hosts volunteering team at the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Sports & Healthy Living award:

Nikita White from Pompey in the Community

Sandie Williams from Portsmouth Breast Friends

Team - The oxygen operators from MS Solent Centre

The Education and Mentoring award:

Marie Malyon from the Girls’ Network Charity

Jemma Cowley from Learning Links

Team - Big Hopes Big Futures Home-Start volunteering team

Young Volunteer of the Year award

Tyler Foyle from Pompey in the Community