PRIME Minister David Cameron sent a special message of thanks to dedicated volunteers and community workers who scooped awards last night.

Individuals and nine groups were recognised for their work at the Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Awards (OCVA) in Oxford Town Hall.

More than 140 nominations were received by organisers Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action.

A total of 59 volunteers from dozens of organisations across the county were given awards for their services, before charities were honoured in various categories.

An extra individual award was presented to departing OVCA trustee David Young, recognising his ongoing support of the organisation since the early 1980s.

Bicester-based children’s charity Oxfordshire Playbus, which brings toys and games to isolated areas in the county, won the community project category.

Tym Soper, manager of the charity which was founded in 1979, said: “It is great to be recognised.

“It is quite good to have these awards to recognise the efforts of smaller charities.”

The project uses three buses kitted out with games and activities for youngsters.

There is also a sensory bus suitable for children with disabilities.

Radio Cherwell chairman Neil Stockton, 60, from Bletchington, won an award recognising his 40 years of volunteering at the station based at the Churchill Hospital in Headington.

The 60-year-old runs the station, manned by volunteers who produce and present radio shows and visit patients on the wards.

He said: “It is a great honour. Running an organisation like this is about the team of people with it.”

Volunteer Elizabeth Moulder, from Witney, gives up her weekends to cook for visitors at Cogges Manor Farm and picked up an award. She said: “I was very excited to be nominated.”

In a special video message for the awards, Prime Minister David Cameron told the audience: “This event show-cases some outstanding examples of the diverse, energetic and passionate work going on around the county.

“Although only a handful of charitable organisations and community-led initiatives gathered at Oxford Town Hall this evening will receive an award, we know there are well over 3,000 charities and community groups in Oxfordshire, and they all deserve recognition.”

He added: “In Oxfordshire, almost a third of the adult population volunteers at least once a month, that is higher than the national average.

“So let’s also not forget about those who aren’t collecting an award today, but who are just as important and indispensable to those organisations that they volunteer for.”

Kate Hill, of OCVA, said: “The awards are the highlight of the year for the voluntary and community sector in Oxford.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievement of all of the volunteers and the voluntary sector groups.

“All the winners have done exceptionally well.”

See the Oxford Mail later this week for a special report on the winners


  • Charity of the Year - Start Up
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Pegasus Theatre
  • Best New Group - Sustainable Witney
  • Best fundraising - Cultivate
  • Environmental - Hogacre Common
  • Management of volunteers - Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre
  • Partnership Award - Aspire
  • Community Project - Oxfordshire Playbus
  • Best use of online tools - Banbury WEA
  • Volunteers:
    Chris Allen, OCVA
    Ann Applegate, Parent Partnership Service
    Agnes Boadi Attafuah, Word Fountain Christian Ministries
    Maddison Ball, Pegasus Theatre
    Darren Blase, North Hinksey Youth Club
    Judith Boon, OCC Skills and Learning Service
    Katarzyna Bus, Greensquare Rose Hill Regeneration
    Alison Burchett, The Volunteer Centre Oxfordshire
    Phillipa Burne, Expert Patient Programme CIC
    Joan Campbell, Royal British Legion
    Denise Clent, Yellow Submarine
    Martin Coombs, Rosehill Littlemore Children’s Centre
    Gary Critchlow-Smith, Oxford Unlimited
    Jo-Jo Dawes, Oxford Swans Swimming Club
    Myra Dixon, Helen & Douglas House
    Michael Drew, The Wychwood Project
    Bob Ely, South and Vale Carers Centre
    Georgia Gray, Reading Quest
  • Sandra Griffiths, Watlington Youth Club
    Margaret Herron, Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary
    Joyce Hill, The Shaw Trust
    Jonathan Hutt, Restore
    Jemma I’Ons, ACT!
    Gabby Jaimeson-Walker, Oxford Homeless Medical Fund
    Nicky Johnson, The Blue Cross
    Ally Jones, Oxfordshire Mind Wellbeing Service
    Hassan Khalil, Open Door
    Sridhar Kandula, Oxfordshire Family Mediation
    Amber Martin, Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary
    Tennyson Mawema, Streets Revolution CIC
    Ian Metcalfe, Cumnor Cricket Club
    Sue Matthew, Bookfeast
    Elizabeth Moulder, Cogges Manor Farm
    Kelly O’Reilly, A2Dominion Simon House
    Jacqui Oldham, Didcot Volunteer Centre
    Felicity Peacock, OCC Family Learning
    Kim Poyser, Agnes Smith Advice Centre
    Tracey Taylor, My Life My Choice
    Pastor Cindy Reid, Christian Life Centre
    Vanessa Roberts, Oxford Cruse Bereavement care
    Marie Robinson, WRVS
    Fouzia Sahi Roshni, Asian Women’s Association
    Stephen Setch, Windrush Valley Amateur Boxing Club
    Bethan Smith, Kirtlington Youth Club
    Neil Stockton, Oxford’s Hospitals Broadcasting Association
    Susan Tanner, Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre
    Cerian Townsend, Thrive Team
    Andrew Trinder, HALT (Homophobia Awareness Liaison Team)
    Janet Turner, ARCh (Assisted Reading for Children)
    Anna Vincent-Hill, Defence Academy Military Wives Choir
    Daniel Warren, KEEN Oxford
    Gene Webb, Faringdon Area Project
    Alison Wells, Home-Start Banbury and Chipping Norton
    Joan Williams, The Archway Foundation
    Robert Wilson, Headway Oxford
    Tony Gibson, Blackbird Leys Amateur Boxing club
    Deborah Wiffen, Eve Women’s Wellbeing Project
    Christine Woodman, St James’s Church, Parish of Cowley
    Nick Woodward, BYHP