The Parks Trust Volunteer Awards 2021
We celebrated the fantastic contribution from our volunteers with our Annual Volunteer Awards event on Friday 25th February. We are proud to be supported by 229 volunteers who completed over 6,329 volunteer hours in 2021. From volunteer rangering out in the parks to helping at conservation tasks, and supporting our event and outdoor learning programmes, our volunteers give us invaluable support all year round.
At our Annual Volunteer Awards celebration we award various individuals who have gone above and beyond in their volunteering over the year. The awards cover areas of Community Engagement, Outdoor Learning and Warden & Biodiversity Volunteering. We also celebrated a Newcomer of the year and long-service volunteers alongside our overall Volunteer of the Year Award.
Volunteer Award Winners
Our overall Volunteers of the Year for 2021 are very deserving of the recognition - David Ollier and Steve Thomason. Both David and Steve have been dedicated practical conservation volunteers and have diligently covered rangering in Campbell Park, amassing over 170 volunteer hours in 2021 between them.
David has been keeping an eye on the ponds in Campbell Park, investing in his own pair of waders because he loves getting in the water so much, creating his photo montages of conservation tasks over the years, creating habitat homes for friends and neighbours during lockdown, attending all the practical tasks with such enthusiasm and taking what he learns to Willen Hospice Garden as a volunteer and initiating a splinter group in December to litter pick the Loughton Valley. David’s recent Christmas card to a colleague stated that ‘without The Parks Trust retirement wouldn’t be half as interesting’!
Steve signed up as a volunteer after getting a taste on a Make a Difference Day community volunteering event helping to put down woodchip paths in Campbell Park, and he enjoyed the experience so much he’s been a practical conservation task regular ever since. Steve is often the lucky one to find money on a litter pick and takes pride in clearing up from ‘Scrumpy Jack’ (our resident Campbell Park litter bug!).
Community Engagement Volunteer of the Year: Deborah Cooper
For her work on the Textiles project at Great Linford. The project engaged 244 members of the community, with designs inspired by the local area and Great Linford Manor Park. Deborah was a key organiser of the Great Linford Celebration Event this September, which also hosted the launch event for the Textiles Project. She is also a very active member of the Friends of Great Linford Manor Park practical volunteering team and is always the first to get stuck in to help maintain the park.
Outdoor Learning Volunteer of the Year: Pamela Loose
For her support of the Outdoor Learning team during 2021, Pam is often the first to answer a call for help and is always there to help with a smile. She is always willing to support an Open Day at Howe Park or a chilly Tree Tots session.
Plus a special mention of thanks to the Elfield Bushcraft Group for all their help supporting our Outdoor Learning team sessions including helping with many whittling projects and their hard work on-site.
Warden of the Year: Colin Kempster
For being a very active Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve Warden, Colin is always supporting other wardens and takes phenomenal pictures while out on the reserve. Colin supported a Junior Park Ranger session held at the reserve giving youngsters an insight into live at the reserve.
Plus a special mention of thanks to our new wardens at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve.
Newcomer of the Year: Paz Prierto Martin
For getting stuck in and trying lots of different volunteering roles and tasks before even getting going on being a new Volunteer Ranger at Hazeley Wood. Paz has also joined our Parks and Run volunteer team.
Long-service Award: Andy Palmer
Volunteering since 2010 as a Volunteer Ranger for Waterhall Park, Andy has been an extremely dedicated volunteer despite personal health challenges the first opportunity he could get back to volunteering he was there making a difference to his local park.
Long-service Award: Dudley James
Retiring from volunteering in 2022, Dudley has been volunteering with the Trust for over 20 years. He has been a dedicated patrolling ranger, helped with variety of volunteering roles such as photography, education and events in his time. We wish his well in his well-deserved second retirement.
Wildlife Surveyor of the Year: Sue Bunker
For her continued commitment to wildlife surveying and who singlehandedly covered the LLNR butterfly transect season for 2021 when a fellow volunteer couldn’t walk very well, Sue’s always there every week from April to September.