Volunteers honoured for their hard work in the community

  • Volunteers honoured at Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteer Awards
  • Ceremony was held in the Victory Suite at Fratton Park
  • Winners came from all age groups and parts of the community
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THEY give up their time to help others and make our community a better place to be – and they do it all for free.

And now, the work of our volunteers has been celebrated at ceremony at Fratton Park’s Victory Suite.

More than 200 people were at the Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteer Awards where trophies were given out in eight categories including Young Volunteer of the Year and Trustee of the Year.

Karen Benac, 59, of Southsea, won a Volunteer of the Year award.

Karen has been a helpline volunteer at the Portsmouth Abuse and Rape 
Counselling Service for seven years.

She said volunteering was a wonderful thing to do.

Karen Benac is presented with Volunteer of the Year Award

Karen Benac is presented with Volunteer of the Year Award

‘It’s important to give something back to the community and to bring hope and change to people’s lives,’ she said.

Roger Hudson, 80, of Clanfield, won an environment and conservation award.

Roger has been volunteering in the gardens at the Rowans Hospice in Purbrook for more than 20 years.

He said: ‘It’s a very interesting opportunity to help the community, and you meet a lot of nice people as well.’

It’s a very interesting opportunity to help the community.

Roger Hudson

The awards coincided with Volunteers’ Week, and follows on from a community initiative called Portsmouth Together.

Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Donna Jones thanked the council team and Pompey in the Community for their hard work on the project.

Cllr Jones called on more people to get involved in volunteering.

She said: ‘I urge everyone to get involved. If everybody gave just one hour a week of their time what a difference it would make.’

The event was sponsored by Portsmouth-based firm The Car Finance Company and the eight trophies also had individual sponsors.

The Car Finance Company managing director and founder Mark Smith said: ‘We’re very pleased to be supporting the Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteers Awards.

‘These awards are a great way to celebrate and say thank you to all the individuals who donate their time and energy into helping others and making Portsmouth a better place to work and live.’


Volunteer of the year

Karen Benac

Young volunteer of the year

Waqar Younas

Community volunteer

Maria Mason

Sports volunteer

Paul Rush

Health and social care volunteer

Rivka Cresswell

Environment and conservation volunteer

Roger Hudson

Arts, culture and heritage volunteer

Richard Lovell

Trustee of the year

Linda Taylor