Volunteers honoured at annual awards

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith and Coun Moira Smith, The Kayaks (Community group of the year), Corina Tuck (Young Volunteer of the Year) and Brian Marshall (Outstanding Volunteer of the Year).
The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith and Coun Moira Smith, The Kayaks (Community group of the year), Corina Tuck (Young Volunteer of the Year) and Brian Marshall (Outstanding Volunteer of the Year).
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Kind-hearted South Tynesiders who give up their time to help others were honoured at an awards night.

The annual event, now in its 35th year, marked Volunteers’ Week 2016, which runs until Sunday.

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside with volunteers from Community Organisations Across South Tyneside (COAST).

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside with volunteers from Community Organisations Across South Tyneside (COAST).

The evening, held at Brinkburn Community Association in Harton Lane, South Shields, saw prizes handed to those who go the extra mile to work with community associations throughout the borough and the people who use their services.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith, said: “It is important that we recognise the vital work of our unsung heroes across the borough.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our community associations. Without their work and support many community groups would no longer be able to operate. It was a pleasure to meet South Tyneside’s volunteers and thank them for their outstanding contribution to the borough.”

Winners included The Kayaks who were named community group of the year, Corina Tuck who picked up the young volunteer of the year prize, and Brian Marshall who was named outstanding volunteer of the year.

The awards night also saw the launch of Community Organisations Across South Tyneside (COAST).

The group, formerly known as the Federation of Community Associations South Tyneside, works to help organisations in the borough.

Coun Pat Hay, a Labour representative for the Harton ward, is chair of the group.

She said: “We re-launched the group with its new name at the awards night. It’s all about including the third sector and volunteering activists and about signposting them for funding and buildings to work in.”

Volunteers are central to the work of countless charities and other organisations. They are a valuable presence in many communities, helping out in places as diverse as sports clubs, libraries, schools and hospitals.

Hundreds of events will be taking place across the country to mark Volunteers’ Week. The annual campaign, which was established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. This year it has been extended by an additional five days, enabling more people than ever to take part.