Charities and community groups across Test Valley joined Unity for their Annual General Meeting, Volunteer Awards and Conference which were held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Stockbridge again this year.
A lively day with 75 people representing a range of organisations joined the event to hear Public Health and Test Valley Borough Council speakers discussing Community Resilience and how we can support local efforts to improve health and well-being as well as engaging communities more effectively.
Unity’s own Christianne Ireland, provided insight into the free help Unity can provide to charities and groups such as funding information on funding streams, volunteer centre support and a range of ways to help organisations to be legally sound and sustainable. She introduced North Baddesley Men’s Sheds who talked about their wonderful work in he community and the benefit these groups provide to men who may feel isolated.
Five Awards were announced this year, more than ever before, including Veterans, Unsung Hero, Trustee, Team and Volunteer of the Year Award with winners receiving trophies and cash prizes.
The Volunteer of the Year once again sponsored by Ansvar Insurance was received by Paul Martin, a local veteran who is not only a full time carer for his wife but is also involved in many local groups.
A bumper year once again for volunteers who truly deserve recognition for the support they give to the wider community across Test Valley.
Topping the bill, Dmitrijs Meiksans, a 14 year old student from Harrow Way Community School who is the Basingstoke and Test Valley representative on the Hampshire Youth Parliament who spoke eloquently about the community and how important Unity is to the future of young people.
Terry Bishop, Chief Executive said:
We are delighted to confirm that Dmitrijs has agreed to become a Unity Ambassador for Youth and will be encouraging young people to become volunteers not only to support local charities but also to enable them to enhance their own skills in the future. It is an exciting opportunity for us all and we are thrilled he will be joining the team.