Hannahs hosts first ever Volunteer Awards

Hannahs hosted their first ever Volunteer Awards at Seale-Hayne last week. The ceremony was held to recognise all the wonderful volunteers who give up so much of their time to work for Hannahs in a variety of roles.

Volunteer of the Year Award went to Chris Newton. Chris started volunteering in the Marketing department at Seale-Hayne before going on to help with volunteer recruitment and events. He has worked as a Hannahs Ranger, helped with the Hannahs Adventurers Club, done DIY around Seale-Hayne and helped with off-site community fundraising activities.

Tom Charles won the Under 25 Award for all his hard work on the farm, in the horticulture area and housekeeping at Seale-Hayne. He has helped regularly with events such as the Christmas Fayre, Beer and Music Festival and Halloween. Tom has consistently worked every week despite not being able to drive for two of those years due to poor health. Stuart Maiden received the Creative Award for all his work on animation, film, photography, media projects and radio presenting at Seale-Hayne. He regularly helps in the Marketing department as well as events at Seale-Hayne.

Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mary Watts whose involvement with the Trust goes back 70 years. She contracted polio as a young girl and attended the Dame Hannah Rogers School in Ivybridge. Since then Mary has spent a lifetime supporting Hannahs. Mary joined the Volunteer Fundraising Team in 1990 but had to take a break due to ill health. She rejoined again in 2007 and became Chair in 2010. Mary and the Ivybridge Supporter Group won Outstanding Fundraising Award. For many years they have given so much of their time and effort to run fundraising events and since Hannahs records began they have raised £285,822.

The Corporate Volunteer Award went to Great Western Railway who have raised £24,500 for Hannahs since first being introduced to Trust in 2013. They have taken part in six volunteer days, given over 150 complimentary tickets, held their Community Rail Conference at Hannahs in 2014 and in the same year named a high-speed train after Hannahs.

The Family Award went to Marian Vanstone and her family. Marian started fundraising for the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust 55 years ago in 1960. She first started fundraising when her children were small and now the whole Vanstone family work tirelessly to raise vital funds for Hannahs. They make chutneys, knit woollens and sell them far and wide as well as at Hannahs Christmas Fayre. In March 2006 the Vanstones made a generous donation towards the expansion of Hannahs Ivybridge with a room now named in the family’s honour. In the last few years alone, the whole Vanstone family has raised over £23,000 for Hannahs. Marian received an MBE in 2000 for her work.

Hannahs runs a group of very successful charity shops under the management of Head of Retail, Daniel Burke. 136 volunteers work in eight shops and the income over the past 12 month has reached £461,095. The shop managers and their teams of volunteers work tirelessly taking in and sorting out donations and running the shops efficiently and professionally.

Hannahs Chief Executive, Bronwen Hewitt said “Our first ever Volunteer Awards recognised some of our very dedicated volunteers who work so tirelessly for us. The deserving winners all have incredible commitment to Hannahs. When you look at the achievements of all of our incredible volunteers it is very humbling and we are so grateful to them”.