Image credit: Jon Craig

Green volunteers set the stage for 2015

The fourth annual Bristol Green Volunteer Awards took place at the Paintworks on Wednesday, hosted by Bristol 2015.

Bristol Nature Network at the 2014 Green Volunteer Awards
Photo: Jon Craig

Seven awards were granted to Bristol-based individuals and projects, for their efforts to keep Bristol green, rich in diversity and more sustainable. 

Categories included: sustainable food volunteer; green volunteer coordinator; nature and biodiversity volunteer; young green volunteer; sustainable transport volunteer; green voluntary leader and the Bristol award for over 20 years of volunteering in the city.

The awards come just 50 days before Bristol takes over the official mantle of European Green Capital for 2015. 

Savita Custead, Director of Education and Engagement, Bristol 2015 said:

“It’s been quite a year for volunteers in the city, we’ve received so many more nominations than we ever have done before. 

“I know so many people are looking ahead to Bristol’s year as the 2015 European Green Capital but I’m so excited that these awards can celebrate the work that’s already been done this year in 2014. 

“There are so many people that didn’t need an award to really make a difference.”

Awards were granted to individuals of all ages, including the youngest winner, Alex Rhodes, 18, who was named young green volunteer of the year along with his brother Marcus, for showing exceptional knowledge and interest in wildlife against the demands of gaining academic success. 

(L-R) Savita Custead, Director of Education and Engagement and Green Volunteer of the Year Winner, Sophie Edwards of Bristol Water.
Photo: Jon Craig

Volunteer award winner, Alex Rhodes said:

“It’s a fantastic platform to shine a light on individuals like myself that go right out of their way despite being young and having to juggle things like family life, relationships, career prospects and dreaded exams and things like that…. still going the extra mile to support things like the environment and sustainability issues.”

Chris Bennett and Pru Comben received the nature and biodiversity award, for their volunteer project GoodGym, which helps over 200 people to keep fit whilst doing good for the city.

Their project, GoodGym, was originally set-up in London five years ago, and Chris felt Bristol would be the ideal launchpad for it in the South West.

Volunteer award winner, Chris Bennett said:

“[GoodGym] gets people who aren’t currently volunteering, volunteering… It fits in really well with people’s time rather than taking up a whole day. 

“You don’t have to commit, you just turn up on a Tuesday, run to a project, do something that is definitely doing good and helping a project. 

“For us sustainability means getting as many people helping their city as possible.

“Especially in Bristol, there are so many good volunteering projects and if we can capture some of the energy that is currently wasted in gyms or just exists in Bristol then all these projects can help.”

The full list of winners include:

Volunteers for Sustainable Food Award
Winner: Sara Venn (Incredible Edible Bristol)

Green Voluntary Coordinator of the Year Award
Winner: Sophie Edwards (Bristol Water) accepted by Patric Bulmer (Bristol Water)

Volunteers for Nature and Biodiversity Award
Winner: Chris Bennett and Pru Comben (GoodGym)
Young Green Volunteer of the Year Award
Winner: Alex & Marcus Rhodes (accepted by Alex Rhodes)
Volunteers for Sustainable Transport
Winner: Naomi Fuller (Playing Out)
Green Voluntary Leader of the Year Award
Winner: John Bowen (Growing Support)
The Bristol Award for over 25 years of volunteering
Winner: Richard Bland

Find out more about the Bristol Green Volunteer Awards.

See also:

Youth Summit