High praise for army of volunteers

Daily Echo: High praise for army of volunteers High praise for army of volunteers

THEY are the newest recruits in the hardworking volunteers proving the lifeblood for Southampton’s vital charities and services.

Thousands of volunteers serve as youth workers, befrienders and drivers helping the young, the elderly and some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

They put in 213,000 hours in 2012/13 alone providing the equivalent of £9 million pounds worth of support to charities and voluntary organisations.

Yesterday civic leaders paid tribute to their heroics at the Southampton Voluntary Services award ceremony at the Mayor’s Parlour at the city’s Civic Centre.

Mayor Councillor Ivan White presented certificates to more than 30 volunteers who have completed 100 hours service – around three weeks of unpaid work.

Centre manager Anthony Douglas, says 2,000 people each year visit the centre’s Kingsland Square headquarters inquire about volunteering, and said: “Everyone today has made a fantastic contribution to Southampton in many different ways.

“They contribute in a range of roles from helping in community centres to being trustees for charities and we are very proud of them.”

Pradeep Kumar “Rupi” Chand joined charity Communicare six months ago and spends 15 hours a week working as a driver, ferrying the elderly to appointments and social events.

The 50-year-old from Regents Park said: “This is fantastic.

“When I got the call I couldn’t believe it because I do the job because I love to help other people, rather than for an accolade.”

Niranjani Murugan, 32, from Maybush, works as an administrator at City Life Ecucation and Action for Refugees (Clear).

She said: “I love helping people and it’s very challenging because you get to meet people from different walks of life.”

Cllr White said their work amounts to nearly 10 per cent of the city’s social care budget and said: “They are marvellous and we are very thankful for their dedication.”

The roll of honour

Geoffrey Sykes, Southampton Mencap: Helps at the centre's Adult Gateway Club with tasks ranging from making drinks to setting up and clearing things away.
Michelle White, Southampton Mencap: Has helped with clubs and schemes including activities for young people since April this year.
Samantha Walker, Southampton Voluntary Services: Shopmobility: has helped customers using the service since October last year.
Laura Crook, Southampton Voluntary Services: Has proved popular with customers since volunteering with the service in November last year.
Agnieskza Greziyic-Szolucha, Southampton Voluntary Services: Has been a committed volunteer since April.
Manpreet Roopra, Southampton Voluntary Services: Carried out research, administrative tasks and outreach events for the service between November last year and March.
Slawomir Sokolwski, Southampton General Hospital: serves as a Polish interpretor for patients and visitors.
Anna Findlay, Southampton General Hospital, volunteers at the Ocean Ward for child cardiac patients.
Jill Callaway, Southampton General Hospital, befriends older patients aged over 85.
Trudy McKeown, The Rainbow Centre, helps provide conductive education for youngsters with Cerebral Palsy.
James Lemanis, No Limits, helps out in weekly activities for the centre's Teen Safe House for youngsters with mental health issues.
Gill Watson, Hampshire Autistic Society, helps out at 30 schools in the area and organises the charity's annual Christmas carol singing events.
Barry Udall, Communicare Southampton, has worked as a driver for four years and regulary takes out a member in her wheelchair.
Rajinder Potiwal, drives service users to appointments and social activites.
Christine Newman, Communicare Southampton, served as the charity's volunteer client assessor since January last year.
Pradeep Chand, Communicare Southampton, works as a driver and helps out at the charity's Friday Lunch Club.
Thomas Wilson, Awaaz FM, community radio DJ.
Daniel Hargadon, Awaaz FM, hosts a current affairs show on the community radio station.
Dragos Olar, Awaaz FM, community radio DJ.
Felix Pastor Garcia, Awaaz FM, hosts a Latin show on the community radio station.
David Old, Southampton City Libraries, helps out at the library and advertises older books for sale online to boost its budget.
Dawn Perrier, The Prince's Trust, mentors more than 20 young people and serves as volunteer coordinator.
Ian Miller, The Prince's Trust, helps young people who seeking to set up their own business.
Alison Powell, Jamie's Computers, has served for more than two years and activities include re-vamping the charities invoicing system.
Paul Motherwell, Jamie's Computers, has serve with the charity since January last year.
Wally Cameron, Jamie's Computes, originally a helped in ebay operation and has served since April 2009.
Parikrama Gupta, City Life Education and Action for Refugees (CLEAR), served as a receptionist since November 2012.
Abera Keraga, City Life Education and Action for Refugees (CLEAR), served as a receptionist for nearly three years.
Oluyemusu Olatujoye, City Life Education and Action for Refugees (CLEAR), served as an administration assistant.
Niranjani Murugan, City Life Education and Action for Refugees (CLEAR), has served as a administration assistant for nearly three years.
Ben Morton, University of Southampton Students' Union (SUSU), statio manager at the Surge radio.
Sammi Gardiner, University of Southampton Students' Union (SUSU), served as a Tap Dance president and organised a dance festival at the university.

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