This year’s Mayor of Winchester’s Community Awards recognised the outstanding contribution of four of our volunteers.
The annual awards celebrate the organisations and individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help others.
“In this most difficult of years we’ve relied more than ever on the sense of community to get us through. Across our district people have continued to make a difference to the lives of others” explained the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Patrick Cunningham.
The Nightshelter is fortunate to have over 300 volunteers who help loyally behind the scenes to support the invaluable work that we do. It was volunteers Edward Murray, David Johnson, Anthony Arkwright and Michelle Davison who were this year awarded for their contribution.
Michèle Price, Chief Executive of Winchester Churches Nightshelter, commented: “Our volunteers make such a vital contribution to our support for people experiencing homelessness. We simply couldn’t do what we do without them. Congratulations to our winners and a big thank you to each and every one of our volunteers.”
Edward volunteers his time to collect Spare Change for Lasting Change donations from across the city. He regularly visits the shops and bars supporting the scheme to gather donations made by the public.
“I was totally speechless about winning this award. I feel very humbled as I have never in my life been given such an award. I feel grateful that I was nominated.”
Anthony first helped the Nightshelter back in 2006 when he completed a fundraising walk. Soon afterwards he became an overnight volunteer as he was able to fit it in around work and family life.
“I began volunteering because I believe we should all do something for those that have less than us, whether that be in terms of money or expertise, or simply time. I currently come in and help about every three weeks and am always inspired by the full-time team and the huge amount of work they put in, but also the gratitude shown by the residents who find themselves in this unfortunate position of homelessness.
I was humbled to learn of this award, of which I knew nothing in advance, but am pleased to able to help, and grateful that others felt that ‘my bit’ was so valuable.”
David has been volunteering at the Nightshelter for over 11 years. He is now the Company Secretary on our Board of Directors as well as working with Edward Murray to collect Spare Change for Lasting Change donations.
“I believe that being homeless is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone and so when I retired 11 years ago I volunteered to become an evening cook at the Nightshelter.
After becoming more familiar with the residents and staff of this wonderful organisation I was then asked to become and Director and Trustee. In those 11 years, a lot has changed at the Nightshelter – all for the better – but the mission of helping those unfortunate enough to find themselves homeless in Winchester remains the same as it did then.
I was delighted to hear about the Community Award although I felt a little embarrassed too since we have about 300 volunteers and they all deserve this award.”
Michelle began volunteering at the Nightshelter when all of her children decided to go travelling in Australia which left her with spare time on her hands.
“I help out every Tuesday evening and absolutely love doing it. I was speechless when I discovered I had won the award as it is something I just really enjoy doing”.
Would you like to find out more about becoming a volunteer with us?
There is a range of roles our volunteers take on from helping in the kitchen to staying overnight to support our full-time staff. You choose how often you help out by simply booking in to help when you can via our online system.