Britain's Best Volunteer returns for 2015 with £1,250 cash prize for charity

Britain's Best Volunteer returns for 2015

Markel UK, the specialist charity insurer and Small Charities Coalition, the support organisation for small charities,have announced the return of Britain’s Best Volunteer award for 2015, to reward those who volunteer their time to help small, local charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations.

The UK public will be given the opportunity to nominate a volunteer who they think best deserves the award. Nominations will be judged against a range of criteria including how long they have volunteered for; if they have overcome personal challenges; how their work has inspired others; and the impact their work has had on their charity.

The winner of the award will receive £1,250 for the charity or charities of their choice and a personal prize of a holiday voucher worth £1,000. Runners up will receive £250 for a charity of their choice and a personal prize of an iPad mini.

From today members of the public will be able to make their nominations online at https://www.markeluk.com/britains-best-volunteer/nominate-vote, which will remain open until February 20.

Following the nomination stage, a judging panel of John Barrett, Director of Small Charities Coalition, Pauline Broomhead, Chief Executive of The FSI, and Andy Partington, Director of Markel UK, will select a shortlist of finalists who will be eligible to win the Britain’s Best Volunteer award. Members of the public will then be able to vote online for their favourite finalist from March 2 to March 20.

Nominees must be over 18 and must be volunteers for a charity or community group with an annual income of less than £1m. Volunteers may hold any position within the organisation, including being a trustee, providing they are unpaid.

Andy Partington, from Markel UK said: “Sometimes the tremendous work of small charity volunteers doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Britain’s Best Volunteer gives people the opportunity to acknowledge the unsung heroes in their community, as well as giving the winner something to enjoy and some financial support for their charity. Last year we had an overwhelming response with over 700 nominations, and we are really looking forward to hearing about the fantastic achievements of this year’s nominees.”

John Barrett at Small Charities Coalition added: “Small charities are the backbone of communities but the great work of their volunteers can slip under the radar. We wanted to not only recognise these outstanding and dedicated people, but also give them an opportunity to talk about their work and achievements, which should help with their charity’s visibility and fundraising”.

Last year’s award was won by Emma Hall, founder and volunteer at Stepping Stones DS, a support group she founded after her daughter was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. Emma grew the group to support over 100 families with children of all ages across Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey, as well as helping new, similar groups in the area to thrive.

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