Great work of Pocklington volunteers hailed at arts centre ceremony

There was a memorable evening of celebration and appreciation at the Pocklington Community Volunteer Awards event.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:33 am
Dozens of volunteers and organisers gathered at Pocklington Arts Centre for the special event. Photo submitted

The ceremony marked the special efforts of all those who came together to support the community during the difficult times of 2020-21.

Dozens of volunteers and organisers gathered at Pocklington Arts Centre, while others who could not be there connected by mobile phone. They heard nominations for awards in the four different categories, plus brief descriptions of each nominee’s particular contribution.

But the night was as much about recognising every one of the hundreds of volunteers that stepped forward during the Covid-19 restrictions; and the formal proceedings ended with 40 gathering on stage to each receive a Volunteer Appreciation Certificate.

Pictured (from left): Ruth Jackson, Andy Bowden, Dean Hodgson, Ruth Hodgson, Zoe Hodgkin and Bernie Clarke.

During 2020-21 local volunteers produced and/or delivered some 2,000 food parcels and over 1,000 prescriptions, made more than 800 support calls and 500 shopping trips, and provided 250 Christmas lunches.

The event was hosted by Andy Bowden, chairman of the Pocklington Rugby in the Community charity (PRITC), and Pocklington Town Councillor Dean Hodgson, dubbed ‘Pocklington’s Ant and Dec’ on the night, with the pair reading out nominations and presenting the four main awards in addition to relating tales of continuing contribution despite volunteers going into labour and having their foot run over while on car parking duty!

Alicia Sanerivi took the Young Person award; Dean and Ruth Hodgson were joint winners of the Connecting Communities section; Neil Burton learnt of his Behind The Scenes award via his mobile, and The People’s Pantry Box Packers collected the team honours.

Andy Bowden summed up the proceedings saying: “It was a marvellous night and a great way to celebrate so many contributions over the past 18 months. So much positivity was generated out of adversity, and it was humbling to see what was achieved when people from very different backgrounds were brought together for a common goal.”

There was also special recognition for PRITC and East Riding Council’s roles in coordinating the volunteer effort, picked up by Andy Bowden and ERYC’s Bernie Clarke; and the final presentation marked the joint efforts of Zoe Hodgkin and Ruth Jackson who were the inspiration behind the Covid-19 Community Support initiative. They received the Pocklington Town Council Mayor’s Special Award from 2019-20 town mayor Dean Hodgson, with Zoe also making a plea for more volunteers to come forward to keep up the momentum.

For anyone interested in finding out more about how they can help a special email facility has been created on: https://pocklington-community-support-volunteering.goAssemble.com/opportunities

Volunteer Awards Nominees List

Young person award:

Alicia Sanerivi and Olivia Birch, two of the area co-ordinators of Covid Volunteers who followed up all the calls to the Covid-19 helpdesk. Alicia Sanerivi, volunteer vaccine steward at the surgery vaccine clinics

Connecting Communities award:

Helen Slater, People’s Pantry Market Weighton branch organiser and secretary for the Pantry. Dean and Ruth Hodgson, Covid volunteers, Pocklington Town Councillors, vaccine volunteers and two of the driving forces behind July’s End of Pockdown event. Hazel Pitt Pocklington Rugby in the Community’s representative on The Oval who managed and delivered the Christmas dinner and Easter egg initiatives on the estate, and Mary Drewery who did the same at Hayton.

Behind the Scenes award

Maureen Harrison, Helen Slater, Chris Davidson, all key individuals at the People’s Pantry. Neil Burton, a leading light with People’s Pantry, Covid volunteers and Vaccine Stewards; Maz Lownsbrough who led the Covid Volunteers prescription delivery service; Barry and Sarah Stockdale from both the Covid Volunteers and Vaccine Stewards who manned the Covid-19 helpline and allocated the follow up tasks; and Dave Birch, coordinator of the rugby players delivery team for PRITC’s Christmas dinner initiative.

Team Award

The People’s Pantry Driver team of Neil Burton, James Pink, Maureen Harrison, Carole Rutherford, Keith Rutherford, Angela Portz, Melody Beese-Roberts, Sarah Davis and Silvia de Sousa. The People’s Pantry Box Packing team of Maureen Harrison, Nicola Beverton, Carole Rutherford, Silvia de Sousa and Sarah Davies. The Covid volunteers prescriptions team of Laura Franklin, Catherine Minnis, David Wilce, Anna Scott, Serban Vornicel, Becki Medforth, Steve Scott, Alanya Morris and Maz Lownsbrough. The Covid volunteers area co-ordinators – Charlotte Childlow, Debbie Peters, Elisha Roberton, Nikki Meadows, Karen Parkhill, Olivia Birch, Martine Bantinck, Olivia Morris and Rebecca Clancy; and the Rugby Lads who delivered Christmas meals and Easter Eggs to households across Pocklington.