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Woking Volunteer Awards 2016 - WINNERS

This second year Awards event celebrated over 10 years of Greenoak Community Focus’ charitable work, and especially the incredible volunteers who provide so much needed support to people in Woking. These awards alone have contributed over £18,000 to local charities.

It was a great competition with 25 entries for the Awards of ‘Woking Volunteer of the Year’ and ‘Woking Young Volunteer of the Year’ which were made online.

The Awards were presented at an ‘Oscars’ style ceremony at WWF’s iconic Living Planet Centre. Each charity set up an exhibition illustrating their work and this proved helpful for peer to peer networking. Attended by some 70 volunteers, there was loud cheering for the Winners and Runners up as they stepped up to receive their awards.

The Mayor paid tribute to the charitable work of Greenoak and to the army of volunteers in Woking who are the bedrock of the community. Robert Mills, Board Member read out the citations and each recipient addressed the attendees. It was so amazing, to see the diversity of the volunteers and their charities, as well as the extraordinary commitment of so many including those who give their time freely behind the scenes.

The winners and runners up received awards of between £2,500 and £500 for their charity plus a personal gift each.

Woking Volunteer of the Year

The Winner was Armindo Lago who received a cheque for £2,500 for AGE Concern, Woking. 

The runners up were all extraordinary volunteers and each received £500 for their charities. They were:

Maria Lima of Liaise Women’s Centre
Jon Andrews of Radio Wey
Karen Perryer of Surrey Wheels for All
Linda Coles of Send Family Link

The Awards were then announced for Woking Young Volunteer of the Year

The Winner was George Dixon of Woking and Sam Beare Hospices

The runner up was another very special young volunteer, Ben Cheetham of Surrey Wheels for All.

The Young Volunteers each received gifts as well as awards for their charities of £1,000 for the winner and £500 for the runner up.

Getting more green with Greenoak Housing

  • At the same time as world leaders were meeting for New York's Climate Summit, over 50 delegates met in Woking, for 'Greener homes: People and Energy'. Hosted by Greenoak based in Woking and Sustainable Homes, attendees included representatives of housing providers, local authorities and government agencies, and where better to hold it than at the WWF's iconic Living Planet Centre in Woking.

    Also, launched at the United Nations in Geneva last week, WWF published its Living Planet Report. In it, it warns that the world is struggling to sustain the demands of modern society mostly because of carbon emissions and that the world is living beyond its means.

    Karen Gravestock, a Director of WWF UK' described the concept and construction of the new BREEAM outstanding headquarters only recently completed. Speakers then gave examples of highly sustainable house building including Greenoak's first 'greenhomes' development in Sheerwater, Woking, which achieved ecohomes excellent nearly 10 years ago.

    Diana Kingdon, CEO of Greenoak said: "This event received a great response with delegates coming from as far afield as Norwich and Bristol. We invited Sustainable Homes Ltd to join us as they lead the sustainability agenda in the housing sector, encouraging reduced carbon and energy use. Various other speakers from industry, housing providers and specialists helped challenge us all to play our part in achieving real sustainability in our businesses and communities, and through encouraging people to live more sustainable lives. "

    Sustainable Homes launched its National Energy Study. This Part One report monitored energy use of over 500 homes involving 14 housing associations. It focuses on the participants, their knowledge and understanding of energy and their bills, also which agencies might be best placed to give them advice.

    There followed a demonstration of how housing providers can help tenants reduce their energy consumption and costs through one to one visits, as demonstrated by First Wessex Housing Association and Greenoak's Green Doctor Services. The afternoon ended with a guided tour of WWF's impressive building alongside the canal, where it has achieved a harmonious link to its surroundings and the wildlife around the site.

Greenoak is Woking’s Greenest Managing Agent

Nominated Recycling hero Greenoak Housing Association was presented with a golden wheely-bin award at the first Woking Borough Council’s Recycle for Woking Awards held earlier in July at the HG Wells Conference and Events Centre in Woking.  Stephanie Harris, Housing and Support Manager at Greenoak accepted the prize, contending with finalists Consort Property Management and GCS Property Management.

The awards run in partnership with WBC’s recycling roadshow ‘Recycle for Woking Week’ and its year-long ‘Everyday Heroes’ campaign to highlight the ongoing battle against everyday waste which can be saved from expensive landfill sites. The awards recognised the hard work of a number of individuals and teams across the borough that go the extra mile when it comes to being green.

Ms Harris explained that Greenoak undertook a significant revaluation of its disposal services. By working closely with the council, they installed new coloured bins, signage and adapted processes to fit in with the needs of residents at individual schemes, aiming to make recycling more user friendly and easier to achieve. She said: ‘The residents are happier and even keener to be more environmentally friendly. We are thrilled to receive his award, it’s nice to be recognised. Green is the game and it’s just the beginning of our partnership with the recycling team at the Council.’

Mark Tabner, the borough council contracts and project support manager, gave a presentation packed with recycling statistics from the borough and county, including that Woking is 13th out of 352 local authorities in terms of recycling. Praising the nominees for the awards, Mr Tabner said: ‘We are in a room full of Heroes. I want to say thank you and I hope you continue to encourage others to do the same. We have got to get the message out and encourage more people to recycle more.