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Care Plus volunteers in the spotlight

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Thu 8 Jul 2021

Two Care Plus volunteers stepped into the spotlight in the Support Staffordshire South Staffordshire Volunteer Star Awards 2021.

Described as “Our own mini Pride of Britain Awards”, the annual event recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements and commitment of volunteers who go the extra mile to support local communities.

The awards were unable to take place in 2020 but with large scale events still not possible, organisers Support Staffordshire felt that it was more important than ever to showcase the wonderful work of volunteers. They therefore took the decision to go virtual, with a live presentation broadcast on YouTube.

Glued to our screens we were delighted when Care Plus volunteer Matt Randle was revealed to be the winner of the Personal Achievement Award. Matt, who first got involved as a lunchtime support assistant at Corsers Court, overcame very significant personal challenges to help residents with their shopping during lockdown.

Asking simply: “How can I help?”, Matt went on to keep people stocked-up and safe. To do this, he had to learn how to manage a supermarket shop for the first time, adapt to wearing a face covering and cope with changing routines in a very uncertain world. Matt was brave as well as brilliant and as housing and wellbeing manager Nicky White-Salt told viewers of the awards: “He has become very much a part of the Corsers Court family and we are looking forward to working with him long after lockdown has lifted.”

Also recognised at the awards was volunteer Mandy Southall. Mandy had previously volunteered as a bingo caller at Vine Court, where she had quickly become a firm favourite with residents. During lockdown she made regular telephone calls to the friends she had made at Vine Court. When she was suffering from COVID-19 and finding it difficult to speak, she knew how important those links had become to people isolating in their own homes and kept in touch by text.

Mandy received a commendation in the category of Volunteering Support for the Over 65s and said: “I’m so chuffed with the commendation and proud to have been chosen. It’s been such a special evening.”

Underlining the value that Care Plus places on the contribution of volunteers throughout our communities, we were also very pleased to sponsor one of the night’s awards. Engagement and volunteer co-ordinator Sarah Wilson sat on the judging panel and made a virtual appearance at the event (looking very glamourous) to announce the winner of our award, in the category of Volunteering Support for Young People. The Care Plus sponsored prize went to Kinver resident Andy Galloway who collected donated computers to support home schooling.