The Parks Trust Volunteer Awards 2022
We celebrated the fantastic contribution from our volunteers with our Annual Volunteer Awards event on Friday night (24 February 2023). We are proud to be supported by 239 volunteers who dedicated an impressive 10,146 volunteering hours in 2022.
Taking place at The Chrysalis Theatre inside Camphill MK Community, the awards event saw eight volunteers take to the stage and pick up prizes in a range of categories. The awards recognise individuals who have gone above and beyond in their volunteering. Please see the list of finalists below:
Our overall Volunteer of the Year is very deserving of the recognition: June Gaynor
Since joining The Trust in 2018 June has become one of the most dedicated of volunteers, actively involved across various areas of The Trust’s work from volunteer rangering in Howe Park Wood to being a stalwart at our Open Days and outdoor learning sessions like Tree Tots to dressing up for Halloween each year. After her first year of volunteering June was awarded Best Newcomer and has gone on to be an Outdoor Learning Volunteer of the Year in 2019 and the Volunteer of the Year for 2020.
In 2022 alone, June completed over 300 hours by rangering every week and supporting over 60 different activities and sessions across the year. June is also a committed member of the volunteer group who attend Elfield Nature Reserve. In the Summer months, June supports our butterfly surveys and helping enthuse families at Open Days with pond dipping, bug hunting and showing people the interesting things found in the ancient woodland. Some of June’s highlights include capturing an otter on a trail camera, discovering a purple hairstreak butterfly at Elfield, growing kidney vetch to encourage small blue butterflies and finding the missing Halloween torso in the woods after our Spooky Halloween Walks!
June’s commitment to the environment and The Parks Trust is clear for all to see and she approaches every volunteering opportunity with a friendly smile and calming manner and the staff team and fellow volunteers absolutely love working with her. She welcomes and mentors’ new volunteers and is a fantastic ambassador for being outdoors and volunteering in the community. Congratulations and thanks to June for all you do.
Events Volunteer of the Year: Gareth Turner
Gareth really threw himself into helping out in 2022 by attending bat walks, and various events where he has helped from start to finish, always with a joke and a smile. He manned the apple catapult at Apple Day with much gusto and is always a calm presence, even during the manic time just before an event starts. As well as his volunteering at events Gareth has helped in Outdoor Learning activities and also as a volunteer river warden.
Special Projects Award: John Gosling
For being a wonderful part of the Great Linford Manor Park Heritage Fund project. He has worked tirelessly, researching the park’s history to support interpretation of the site. He has curated the Great Linford History website, which is an excellent repository of information about the park and village. He has led over 100 guided walks for over 1000 people since 2020 and is a key part of the education team who support school sessions at the park. John’s input has made delivering the Great Linford Heritage Fund project not only straightforward, but also incredibly enjoyable. His impact has been felt by the project team, the other volunteers and by the local community as a whole.
Outdoor Learning Volunteer of the Year: Yve Morris
Yve has been with The Trust for several years and has decided to retire this year. She has been supporting many areas with her volunteering but most importantly our Outdoor Learning programmes with her positive attitude and excitement for nature brightening even the dreariest of days and no doubt raising students’ spirits! Yve not only was one of our most active helpers with school sessions but also spent the school holidays at our Open Days at the Education Centre at Howe Park Wood, always eager to engage with families and jumps right into any activity. When she wasn’t filling her time with Open Days and school groups she helped with Junior Park Rangers sessions, events, practical tasks, sheep patrols around Campbell Park and of course her bumblebee transect for the biodiversity team.
Volunteer Rangers of the Year: Corinne and Terry Brown
Corinne and Terry have volunteered with us for some time now, helping with our events and activities, but their main role is to help look after Walton Lake. Every week they patrol, litter pick, check the bird hides and keep our Community Rangers informed of any issues. They also look after a stretch of the River Ouzel, as part of our Volunteer River Warden scheme and we thank them so much for all that they do to help keep Walton Lake so beautiful.
Newcomer of the Year: Dawn Mynard
Recruited as a weekly warden, this volunteer has taken on more challenges throughout 2022 and even joining a Friend’s Group committee.
We wanted to recognise the efforts of this volunteer in taking on one of the largest Butterfly Transects as part of their patch with great dedication and enthusiasm. Attending all the training sessions organised with Butterfly Conservation, even when we didn’t find the Black Hairstreak at Howe Park Wood or Purple Emperor on the North Bucks Way. Dawn has been busy getting involved with all activities down at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve and with the Friend’s Group. A pleasure to have on the volunteer team.
Long-service Award: Alan Maynard
Alan has been with the Trust for 20 years and their favourite saying to our Biodiversity Officer was “when I finally retire I can do more with the Parks Trust!…” A demon hedge laying and fire starter, they quietly and expertly get on with any volunteer Practical Conservation task with the occasional dry wit thrown in.
A key member of the Manor Farm drystone wall crew from 2011, picking up the technique very quickly. Always keen to learn about wildlife and assisted with reptile surveys at Furzton and Martin says he doesn’t like Adele but like real Ale. They have been a stalwart of the practical team at weekends and now more regular member of the group and able to take on the Ranger role around Furzton Lake.
Congratulations to all our award winners and a huge thank you to all our volunteers for all they do for Milton Keynes' parks in all weathers, every day of the year.