Local Home-Start Volunteer Wins National Volunteering Award

28 March 2016

Yvonne Wright, a volunteer trustee at Home-Start Aberdeen, has won the Outstanding Trustee Award in the charity’s national awards.

At a gala awards dinner hosted by the charity’s national ambassadors, Kirstie Allsopp and Alastair Stewart, Yvonne was presented with a glass trophy and a certificate signed by the charity’s royal patron, HRH Princess Alexandra. The dinner took place at the charity’s national convention in Nottingham, on Monday 21 March.

Yvonne is one of 2,448 amazing volunteer trustees and 14,808 home-visiting volunteers who gave their time to Home-Start to support families across the UK this year. 120 volunteers and seven trustees give their time in Aberdeen city.

Yvonne was nominated for the award by staff at Home-Start Aberdeen. Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, said, “She is one of those quiet people who just inspires others by her enthusiasm and belief in Home-Start, despite working very, very long hours as a lead nurse – clinical support. She joined us as an advisor in 2001 and became a trustee in 2005. Despite taking more and more senior roles within NHS Grampian, she continued to promote Home-Start and almost never missed a board meeting or any opportunity to promote Home-Start.

“Yvonne was the board member who really pushed us towards social enterprise and worked tirelessly to help us through a number of feasibility studies before we finally set up our social enterprise charity shop in November 2012. Yvonne became chair in 2010 and I can honestly say that without her we would not have opened it.

“She held the role of chair until the end of 2014 and is still very actively involved as vice chair and also chair of our social enterprise sub-committee. Whatever else is happening in her life she always puts Home-Start to the fore. She has also made every effort to attend Home-Start UK meetings and events - usually taking time from her holiday entitlement.

“Yvonne has never forgotten that nursing is about people. This also shines through when she talks about Home-Start and the impact it has on family life. She is well known and respected in local NHS and community circles and her longstanding association has brought Home-Start Aberdeen a great deal of credibility with the wider social work and health sectors.”

After receiving the award, Yvonne said, “From my days as a health visitor I know how important Home-Start is and how grateful I was for the charity’s help with the families I was working with.

“I have seen first-hand that Home-Start’s unique blend of home-based emotional and practical support works. This, above all, has underpinned my commitment to the charity over the years. There continues to be a genuine need for our service – and I believe that the support can truly make a difference to local families’ lives.”

In a written message to all the winning volunteers, HRH Princess Alexandra said, “This occasion is a wonderful way to celebrate all that can be accomplished by working together with one common purpose – to help parents and children to cope and thrive as they face very difficult circumstances.

“I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you and, this evening, I extend my personal thanks to all Home-Start Volunteers for your compassion for families and children and for your gifts of time, energy and care.

“My special congratulations go to this year’s winners and runners up. Thank you for your selflessness and kindness and for the very great difference you make to families.”

Before the awards ceremony, Yvonne and the winners of the other Home-Start national volunteer award categories were treated to a pamper afternoon, courtesy of The White Rose School of Health and Beauty, and afternoon tea with Kirstie Allsopp.

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