The Parks Trust Volunteer of the Year 2020

Volunteer of the Year Award - Media Banner Image.jpg
15 January 2021

Every year the team at The Parks Trust celebrate our over 200 strong volunteer team and their hard work and dedication to our parks at an awards celebration. This year the event was held remotely on Zoom with awards for Events & Community Volunteer, Outdoor Learning Volunteer, Volunteer Ranger, Newcomer and Conservation Volunteer of the Year all being announced. All volunteer awards were nominated by the team at The Parks Trust and each award recognises the dedication of the volunteers and the huge number of hours and hard work they put in.

In 2020 Parks Trust volunteers dedicated a staggering 4,584 volunteer hours in our parks through patrolling, working on conservation tasks, supporting our events and activities and helping at outdoor learning sessions. Their volunteer support is invaluable, and our thanks goes out to all our volunteers and their hard work helping to make our parks safe and inviting places for both visitors and wildlife.

As part of the awards we nominate an individual each year as our overall Volunteer of the Year for their overall contribution to volunteering at The Parks Trust. At our Zoom event in January 2021 we were honoured that the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Andrew Geary, was able to join us to announce the award for our Volunteer of the Year for 2020, June Gaynor. The staff team unanimously supported June’s nomination for this award as she tirelessly volunteers across many different areas within the Parks Trust. She started volunteering with The Trust in 2018 and quickly went on to be awarded Newcomer of the Year in 2018 due to her dedication as a Howe Park Wood Ambassador and went on from there to try her hand at many different volunteering opportunities. In the last couple of years June has gone on to support various events and outdoor learning activities and was our Outdoor Learning Volunteer of the Year in 2019. June regularly supports school holiday Open Days at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve and Howe Park Wood as well as regular Tree Tots sessions which involves engaging little people and their parents in outdoor play, whatever the weather. From wheeling all the paraphernalia of the session through the mud, to setting up, regularly disinfecting equipment, and then helping run the sessions, June is always there with a lovely smile and spirit to get involved and the team are very grateful to her for continuing to support these events.

June is also an integral member of the weekly Elfield Bushcraft group, working to make Elfield Park a fantastic habitat for wildlife as well as taking on the butterfly transect in the surveying season. During the Coronavirus crisis in 2020, June took on the responsibility to carry out regular volunteer patrols of one of our most popular and therefore busiest ancient woodlands, Howe Park Wood. Her weekly patrols in all weathers have helped to keep this Site of Special Scientific Interest in good order, litter picking and letting our Community Ranger Team know if anything needs attending to, all to allow members of the public to have a really pleasant environment to walk in and enjoy. Howe Park Wood is extremely popular with various user groups including dog walkers, bird watchers and especially families with children, and we’re sure they all appreciate her hard work.

June is always positive and enthusiastic about activities and is a great ambassador for The Parks Trust. Thanks very much June for your hard work and this award is a recognition of that volunteering dedication.

Congratulations June and all our volunteer award winners!

2020 Volunteer Award Winners

Events & Community Engagement Volunteer – Andrew White for his dedication to volunteering on activities at Great Linford Manor Park.

Outdoor Learning Volunteer – Ian Graham for his dedication to supporting school holiday open days and volunteering time spent as a Howe Park Wood ambassador.

Volunteer Ranger – Donald Selby for his regular volunteering patrolling at Stanton Low Park

Newcomer of the Year – Chris Ryder, new Volunteer Ranger at Waterhall Park.

Biodiversity & Conservation Volunteer – James Chew for his dedication leading Elfield Bushcraft Group in working to create habitats for wildlife at Elfield Park