What a great day! Today was the annual Cornwall Celebrates Volunteering awards where we, and lots of other organisations take some time out to recognise the amazing contribution that volunteers make to life in the county. Given my responsibility for transport I am lucky enough to host the table for the volunteer drivers.
This year both Steve and Fred from the Merlin Centre, and Doreen from Age UK were highly commended, and I am very proud to say that our own Jenny Stephens was the Volunteer of the Year in the driver category. I know I speak for everyone involved in making the decision about the winner when I say that it was a really tough decision this year. Steve and Fred effectively operate the Merlin Centre's entire transport scheme getting their clients into the centre and supporting all their other activities. Doreen is one of Age UK's extraordinarily committed drivers giving up huge chunks of her time helping get people to essential appointments.
Jenny is one of the bedrocks of our own scheme, she gives up so much time both as part of our car scheme, and as one of our skilled minibus and accessible vehicle drivers. She is really knowledgeable about providing transport in a safe and dignified manner for people with disabilities, and uses that knowledge to continually push us to improve what we do and to help other organisations ensure that they offer a good level of service.
It was genuinely a pleasure to see Jenny's and the other drivers' efforts recognised and inspiring beyond words to hear the stories of volunteers in so many different fields and the impact that they have.