Posted: 11 January 2018

Winners of the 2017 National Volunteering Awards

Our annual National Volunteering Awards recognises some of the outstanding volunteers who work tirelessly to support our work. 


The 2017 nominees

Nominations came from all over the country - from our Retail Managers, Children and Young People’s Service Managers to our Relationship Managers working with speakers, campaigners and committees.  A full cross section was represented. Our advisory panel of selected Directors and Trustees, who considered how the nominations demonstrated our core values (brave, ambitious, trusted and supportive), carefully selected the winners.

A formal opportunity to express our gratitude

In its third year, the National Volunteering Awards scheme gives us a formal opportunity to express our gratitude to our volunteers for everything they have done, and continue to do, for the vulnerable children and young people whose lives we fight to improve.

And the 2017 winners are...

Thousands of volunteers across the country give their time to help children and young people - which made selecting our winners particularly tricky. So it is with huge congratulations that we introduce our selected seven:

Brian Taplin at the National Volunteering Awards

Brian Taplin

Brian Taplin - Brian has been a hugely valued member of the volunteering team at TCS East for three years. He was nominated for the commitment, enthusiasm and passion he brings to the project. Brian is willing to put his hand to any task and lightens the mood with his sense of humour, which is particularly appreciated by the young people who access the project.

Helen Tate at the National Volunteering Awards

Helen Tate

Helen Tate -  Helen is a Community Ambassador and Campaigner who, despite having a very busy job as a practising family lawyer, can always be relied upon to deliver engaging, creative and informative talks, and to use the insight she gains from her work to represent our interests to decision makers. Helen has also written blogs to help inspire more people to come forward as volunteers.

Jasmine Brooke at the National Volunteering Awards

Jasmine Brooke

Jasmin Brooke - Jasmin has contributed to the SMART team in the North East in many different ways since she started volunteering. She worked on their newsletter and suggested producing a leaflet with information about services available in Newcastle - and did all of the research for it. She is supportive to other volunteers and shows a commitment to the work, inspiring to others.

New Ollerton shop team at the National Volunteering Awards

New Ollerton Shop volunteer team

The New Ollerton Shop volunteer team- While their manager was away, the volunteer team stepped up and took over the running of the shop, taking on extra shifts to make sure it was always open. They organised fundraising days, covered stalls at local events, held tombolas and researched local activities that the shop took part in. Their manager praises them for their respect and utmost integrity, which makes them wonderful ambassadors for us in their local community.

Samie Lakehal at the National Volunteering Awards

Samia Lakehal

Samia Lakehal – Samia volunteers at our shop in South Woodford.  In addition to her normal shift, she shows up every day to help sort donations, without which the shop could not perform as well as it does. Samia is kind, positive and showed bravery for appearing in a promotional video (despite being nervous about her levels of English) which showcased volunteers in action. Her involvement brought the film to life and emphasised how inspiring volunteers like Samia are to the rest of the organisation.

watch the video

Rob Needle at the National Volunteering Awards

Rob Needle

Rob Needle - Rob is the Diocesan Ambassador for the Diocese of Ely. Thanks to Rob, we were one of only two charities at the Ely Diocesan Festival opening up countless conversations with new influential supporters including church wardens, Diocesan staff, Archdeacons, and even the Bishop of Ely. Rob’s goal is to make us the Church of England’s Children’s Charity.

Luke Sharpe

Luke Sharpe

Luke Sharpe – Luke was a dedicated member of our Board of Young Trustees, as well as a shop volunteer and campaigner. As a care leaver himself Luke was passionate about our work and helped to motivate staff and other volunteers with his enthusiasm and hard work. He supported staff at the Care Leavers Festival in 2015 and proved a committed and excellent ambassador for us, as both a care leaver and volunteer. We were all shocked and saddened by Luke’s passing last year but we are honoured to be able to recognise his amazing contribution by creating the Luke Sharpe Young Volunteer of the Year Award, which will be presented to a member of his family at a celebration of his life organised by the young people who knew him.

Volunteer with us

Because of the support from our volunteers, we’re able to help some of the most vulnerable children who now, more than ever, need our help.

Only together can we be there for every child that needs us. 

find out how you can become a volunteer

Not quite sure volunteering is for you? Watch our video below (featuring award winner Samia Lakehal) to hear what our volunteers love about their jobs.


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