Volunteers saluted

Laura Mayes, vice chairman of Devizes Area Board, with Frank Smith, left, John Girvan and Paul Scarffe

Laura Mayes, vice chairman of Devizes Area Board, with Frank Smith, left, John Girvan and Paul Scarffe

First published in News

Volumteers who help others have received awards from Devizes Area Board.

Frank Smith, a volunteer with the Friends of Erlestoke Prison since 2012, was the winner of the individual category.

Mr Smith, of Bradford on Avon, understands the challenges that prisoners face during their sentence and when they are released from prison, having worked at Erlestoke Prison as a teacher.

As a member of the prison Friends he helps with fundraising and drives visiting relatives to the prison.

He said: “Having worked in the prison I became aware of the circumstances for a number of the men, which were unfortunate to say the least. The Friends of the prison work tirelessly and becoming a volunteer with them enabled me to maintain my contact with the prison and the men.”

The other people nominated all received a certificate. They are: Paul Scarffe, a churchwarden at St James Church, Stert, and parish councillor for 20 years; Seb Hutchings, second team captain and committee member of Devizes Rugby Club; John Girvan, the Devizes historian who helped to get the pillbox in Rotherstone restored.

Users of Devizes Youth Centre were the winners of two awards. Seventeen-year-old Rosie Mullins was given a special award for a young person’s contribution.

Rosie is a member of the Youth Advisory Group and a peer mentor. She helps the youth club flourish by running the kitchen and tuck shop every Wednesday during the school lunch drop-in.

Rosie is also a member of the youth club’s bridging project which jointly won the group award. It is a group of young people aged 15 to 18 who support youngsters with learning and physical disabilities on Tuesdays to develop confidence and the ability to interact with one another.

The Sidmouth Club volunteers were the other winners. They help at the dementia club in Sidmouth Street run by Alzheimer’s Support.

Other nominated groups who received a certificate are; volunteer lock keepers on the Caen Hill flight of the Kennet and Avon Canal; Potterne Mummers; Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts who help run carnival events and the Christmas Festival; Urchfont Scarecrow Festival volunteers.

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