The Alan Hudson award
About the award
We suffered a great loss in January 2011 when our chairman, Alan Hudson, died suddenly.
Alan joined the management committee of the Thornbury Volunteer Centre, formerly the Thornbury & District Volunteer Link when it was created in 1988, and remained chairman for more than sixteen years.
In memory of him, we decided to create The Alan Hudson Award for Volunteering Achievement.
It is awarded annually and celebrates the work of an individual or group who in the opinion of the Thornbury Volunteer Centre has made a valuable contribution to the local community.
The 2017 winner
This year we are proud to present the Alan Hudson Award for Volunteering Achievement to Thornbury Foodbank, part of The Trussell Trust’s UK wide foodbank network.
The Thornbury branch of Yate and Chipping Sodbury Foodbank was set up four years ago as a Thornbury Churches Together initiative, with volunteers running it and donating food. Food is collected by churches, businesses, schools and other groups and from the public by collecting outside supermarkets.
The foodbank provides emergency meals for three days to people in short term crisis. The crisis can be the result of problems such as benefit delay or withdrawal, separation, unexpected bills, debt, bereavement or redundancy. It’s a service for local people in short term difficulties, to remove the worry of feeding their families while problems are sorted out.
On receiving the award, Thornbury organisers Mair Vaughan and Chris Verey thanked Thornbury Volunteer Centre for their recognition of the valuable contribution the Foodbank makes to the Thornbury and district community and how it is a sad reflection of modern life that Foodbanks are needed to help and support those less fortunate.
The Foodbank is based at the Thornbury Baptist Church, Gillingstool, Thornbury, BS35 2EG, and is open every Friday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm.
The 2016 winner
This year we are proud to present the Award to a relatively new Thornbury organisation, JIGSAW.
JIGSAW was set up three years ago by parents to provide support and understanding and practical help for local families who face the challenges of having a child with additional needs. Tor Goodman, founder and director, is a paediatric nurse who has developed JIGSAW and is always looking to improve and expand what the organisation does and the numbers of individuals and families they can assist.
JIGSAW has grown steadily and now includes a special educational needs and sensory lending library, social and special needs events, weekly support group and holiday activities.
On receiving the award Tor expressed her thanks and gratitude for the recognition of their achievements and how they were now looking to the future and hoping to expand and become even more successful.
The 2015 winner
We are delighted to award the 2015 Alan Hudson award to local volunteer Pam Forrest.
Pam has supported cancer research locally for nearly 30 years, initially by holding fundraising coffee mornings, which not only continue but have had to move from her house into a bigger venue. She also runs an annual event in Alveston, Elberton, Tytherington and Old Down in which local people open their gardens in support of cancer research. Since 1997 she has been a committee member of the Thornbury branch of Cancer Research UK, variously as chairman and treasurer. Her efforts have helped to raise more than £500,000 for the charity in the past 20 years. She has also been the local fund-raiser for the Red Cross for the past 40 years.
The 2014 winner
This year’s winner of the Alan Hudson Award is the Lions Club of Thornbury.
Volunteers and staff of the Thornbury Volunteer Centre voted unanimously for the Lions Club in order to recognise their outstanding support of local charitable, voluntary and community organisations in Thornbury and district. By raising funds through their second-hand book shop in the St Mary Centre they help numerous good causes and are an asset to the town.
Mayor Guy Rawlinson presented Colin Evans of the Lions Club with the Award at the Volunteer Christmas Lunch in the Town Hall in December.
The 2013 winner
The winner of the Alan Hudson Award for 2013 was the Thornbury Memory Café. On behalf of the Café Audrey Green was presented with the award at our Jubilee Volunteer Awards ceremony at the Thornbury Castle Hotel on 2 December by Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire.
The Memory Café was formed in 2012 for anybody with memory problems and any form of dementia, together with their carers, families and friends. It’s not a clinic but a welcoming café where people can relax, enjoy being together and meet others. Meetings are held twice a month in the Methodist Church Hall.
Since starting it has gone from strength to strength and we think that it fits the ethos of the Alan Hudson award perfectly.
The 2012 winner
The winner of the award for 2012 was local volunteer Dot Curtis.
Dot Curtis is well known in Thornbury for her tireless volunteer work with the elderly, running two luncheon clubs and until July 2011 the Bathings Day Centre. With help from a team of volunteers Dot has cooked and served thousands of meals over the years, organised many outings and arranged transport for numerous customers.
As Dot explains “I get a lot of joy from volunteering. I get far more out of it than I give and I really can’t imagine not doing it.” Last summer, however, ill health forced her to retire from running the Day Centre. It was taken over by Penny Baker, owner of Blend and Origin Cafés in Thornbury. Dot still runs the Luncheon Club at St Mary Church Hall on Wednesdays.
We felt Dot was a very worthy winner of this award as she shares the same values as Alan and has helped her local community enormously.
The inaugural winners
The first winners of the Alan Hudson award were the staff and volunteers of the shop in the St Mary’s Centre run by Multiple Sclerosis People’s Help (MSPH).
The charity was founded in 2001 by Roger Wall and Shaun McCarthy, who themselves have multiple sclerosis, with initial funding from the MS Society’s Millennium Award Scheme.
MSPH helps people who suffer from MS to live independent lives. The charity arranges for jobs to be carried out in the home and garden free of charge, such as installing ramps and grab rails, lowering shelves and cutting hedges. The service is available to people with MS across South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset.
News & information
We’re popping up again! We shall be running our pop-up shop during May and June. More here.
Volunteer Manager’s Network: The next meeting is announced. More here.
AGM date announced: It will be on 18 July with guest speaker and refreshments. All welcome! More details.
Big grant permits local projects: We have been granted £2000 from Tesco's Bags of Help scheme. We plan a series of events during 2018 to bring organisations and volunteers closer together. More information.
General Data Protection Regulation: Two successful workshops help local organisations come to grips with new data protection regulations. Details here.
Quiz nights at the Swan: More opportunities for fun and funds in April. Details here.