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
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