This award recognises a volunteer or group of volunteers who have changed something or gone about a challenge in a different way to help us reach more people or achieve our aims more effectively.
Graham Allan has been the chair of the Penrith Ramblers for 10 years. In that time he has been instrumental in encouraging the continuous growth in the membership, now at 370. He has built a strong committee which has developed a programme of between seven and ten different walks each week, catering for a wide range of abilities, with more than 100 people walking each week. Graham has worked with others to promote a new group for those who had started walking through the 'Walking for Health' scheme and now want to do more. This 'Strollers group' has become so successful that a second group has been started to cater for the large numbers.
In addition, Graham has written and published a very successful book 'Walks in the Penrith Area' and donated the funds to the group. He has devised several walking routes for special Sunday walks and produced pictorial leaflets for these and for the group's annual spring weekend break, the summer evening walks and the Strollers Group. He writes a column in the local paper including walk routes and descriptions, which give visitors and locals easy to use guides, of which there are now well over 100. He organises walks for other voluntary and commercial groups and donates any financial contributions to Penrith Ramblers. In his time as chair, the social activities have also increased, now involving two holidays, two summer outings, a Christmas lunch and other one-off events.
It can be seen from all of this that Graham is inspirational and has encouraged numerous people to take up walking and enhanced the experience of many, many others.
Morna has always been very friendly and helpful to all organisers and members alike, this made all new members feel welcome and comfortable within the group quickly, which has distinguished Tayside Young Walkers (TYW) group. Morna has been key in ensuring TYW has a very diverse group of walkers and the welcoming atmosphere created by Morna has meant that new walkers almost always come back.
She actively sought to recruit new organisers as well as chased up exciting organisers to ensure that our calendar was full and varied for our walkers. Morna is much loved by all members of Tayside Young Walkers has shown nothing but dedication and commitment to the group over the past three years. Her enthusiasm and down to earth attitude have provided an inclusive platform for the group in which everyone who has joined has felt welcomed and encouraged.
Undoubtedly her work has led to the continued growth of TYW and made it the success it is today.
Voting has closed for the Volunteer Awards 2019, we will be announcing the winner in April.
Find out about the other categories.