Awards for National Green Heroes

BTCV, the UK’s leading environmental volunteering organisation, has recently announced the winners of its National Green Heroes’ Awards for 2007.

These awards recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and groups that fully embody the charity’s ethos of Inspiring People ñ Improving Places’. Last year, more than 140,000 volunteers took part in 11,000 conservation events around the UK ñ ranging from wildlife management projects to improving the quality of local urban spaces. BTCV’s patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, presented the deserving winners with their awards at a special ceremony at St James Palace.

Altogether there were ten different group and individual categories to be won. Young Volunteer of the Year went to James Cousins from Wiltshire. Aged 14 years, James has been an inspiration to other young volunteers. As he suffers from ADHD, he found some aspects of working with the organisation difficult. Ultimately he learnt how to overcome his problems and, using his experience, he was able to give advice to other young ADHD sufferers. James is a role model, not only to other young people but also to the staff members who have had the opportunity to work with him. Runners up for this award were 16 year old Sarah Brown, 15 year old Michael Pennington, 16 year old James Leach and 15 year old Daniel Chisholm, who has been volunteering since he was 10.

‘The wonderful thing about BTCV,’ said Sir David Attenborough, one of the charity’s vice presidents, ‘is that it gives people practical opportunities to get in-volved in looking after their local area and this then opens the door to broader environmental awareness and action… So please support BTCV ñ the planet needs them!’

Tim Woods from Brighton and Dan Malster from Leeds were joint winners of the BTCV Dave Donohue Award for thinking globally, acting locally’. Dan, aged 26, has been working as a volunteer with the charity since 2004. He has been integral in the creation and running of a number of projects including Out and About. This was designed to acquaint newly arrived asylum seekers ñ some of the most neglected people in society ñ with their surrounding community. Dan’s tremendous hard work and commitment exceeded expectations, providing not just gardening opportunities but a welcoming listening ear. ‘He brings big smiles to many faces!’ the organisation said.

Joint winner, Tim Woods, has been working with BTCV since 2000, first as a volunteer and then as a leader of conservation holidays. He has used holidays to help engage local communities. His ability to consider the human element in project developments has been vital to the charity in delivering its vision.

Tom Flood, chief executive of BTCV, says: ‘Our Green Heroes deserve recog-nition for the outstanding contribution they make to their local environment and their community, often overcoming considerable personal and environmental challenges to do so. Their achievements will also inspire new volunteers and show how we can all make a difference to the places that we live in.’

The Green Heroes Awards for 2008 will be announced just before BTCV’s Spring into Action campaign, starting 1st May until 7th June. During this month a thousand volunteering events around the UK will be open for everyone to join.

For more information on Spring into Action’
or to find out about other volunteering
opportunities happening in your area
Contact: BTCV, Sedum House,
Mallard Way, Doncaster, DN4 8DB
Tel: 01302 388 883
Website: www.btcv.org

Dan Malster and participants
of BTCV’s Out and About’ programme
Photo: © BTCV

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