Oxford Town Hall was the place to be seen for all voluntary workers as the annual OCVA Awards got under way amidst a hubbub of anticipation. Each year a selection of individual volunteers and charitable organisations from around Oxfordshire are highlighted for their achievements and this time around the Oxford Food Bank had been shortlisted for two awards.
First up in the proceedings was the awarding of certificates to over 50 outstanding individual volunteers from an amazing variety of organisations. As the final one descended from the stage beaming happily the tension began to rise amongst representatives from the charities shortlisted for the nine awards up for grabs.
After the ‘Best New Group’ and ‘Innovation’ Awards it was finally OFB’s time to shine as our name was read out alongside the other two contenders for the ‘Environmental Award’, namely Barracks Lane Community Garden and Bicester Green. The Environmental Award recognises the group that has had the biggest positive impact on the local environment and sustainability. Surely that had to be OFB? And sure enough the announcement rang out that the winner was ….. Bicester Green. Cue polite clapping and slightly forced smiles from the OFB representatives Perhaps this wasn’t to be our year after all.
More Awards came and went for ‘Management of Volunteers’, ‘Working Together’ and ‘Best Community Project’ before the next Award of particular interest came up – the ‘Best Team of Volunteers Award’. Again, surely OFB had to be the winners, with over 100 volunteers busily distributing food to more than 50 other local charities every day of the year. There was stiff competition from Oxfordshire Early Intervention Service and Smart CJS to overcome, however, so who knew what the next few seconds would reveal.
The winner of the ‘Best Team of Volunteers Award’?
Well it had to be …. the Oxford Food Bank!
Cue genuine smiles as the three OFB representatives strode onto stage to loud acclaim from the audience and marched off a few seconds later with certificate and flowers in hand for the official photo.
From left to right: Danny Crane-Brewer from Hunts (the sponsors of the award) plus OFB representatives David Kay, Cathy Howard and Brian Johns.
Full details of all the winners and runners up appear on the OCVA website.
Oxford Mail article highlighting Award winners.