Bond Volunteer Award - and the winner is. . .
The Volunteer Award celebrates exceptional individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the organisation and the sector.
Congratulations to Dr Shabnam Rangwala for winning this prestigious award.
Below, you can also see the shortlist and longlist of nominations. Click on the organisation to see which volunteer they have submitted for this award and for what reason.
Don't forget to join in the conversation on social media using the #BondAwards tag.
Winner - Dr Shabnam Rangwala and MAITS
"Being declared as the winner for the Bond International Awards – Volunteer 2020 is an immense privilege. Being selected from a group of nominees who have done such pioneering work in their respective areas and countries makes me feel very humble and grateful. I dedicate this award to all the families who work tirelessly to promote the Rights of their children with special needs." - Dr Shabnam Rangwala
Dr Shabnam Rangwala is an experienced healthcare professional who has pioneered the South-to-South training on disability for the charity MAITS to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities in the Global South. In this small charity, Shabnam has been the clinical lead and has led on rolling out their Community Health Worker programme in India, Jamaica and Sri Lanka so that children with disabilities and their families can receive practical support in their own homes from trained staff. Her training in Sri Lanka reached 700 children with disabilities.
Shabnam is from Mumbai and is committed to the South-to-South disability training, improving the skills of those working to support families in their local communities. She trained workers in Jamaica, they went on to win a merit from the World Cerebral Palsy Awards 2018 for how they improved the children’s outcomes. In the next year, she has committed to run five programmes across south and south east Asia. She recently partnered with other organisations to get these materials translated into Hindi, securing the funds in the process.
Shabnam was instrumental in gaining the support of the Government of India in ensuring MAITS’ Community Health Worker programme was rolled out across the whole state. Shabnam trained 35 government healthcare staff, as part of a programme run by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and 30 trainees from local charities, equipping them with knowledge to identify disabilities and break down taboos surrounding disability and providing direct hands-on support to families as part of the training. This work featured on the regional news.
Why is Shabnam so inspiring?
We asked MAITS why Shabnam should win this award.
"Shabnam is devoted to improving the lives of those with disabilities in developing countries. She is passionate about improving the skills of other professionals in the global south and making sure they are able to support the most vulnerable in their communities. Her dedication to continuing the programme in South and Southeast Asia has meant that the Government of India has recognised the impact of her work, and have rolled out the programme in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh."
Volunteer Award shortlist
Hester Poole - Volunteer youth ambassador
Nominated by Ethiopiaid
Hester is an 11 year old visually impaired school girl who visited the Mekele Blind School, in Tigray Ethiopia. She met the students and experienced what school life is like for them. She wants every child to have the opportunity to attend school and have the resources they need.
Hester has fundraised over £27,000 for the blind school through a cake sale at school, a Christmas concert and by taking part in the Womens First 5k Run in March 2019, in Addis Ababa. She wants the funds to be used to provide extra support for the children by improving the safety of the school environment, sports equipment, and a programme of enrichment activities (music, crafts and sports).
Hester is now Ethiopaid's Youth Ambassador for Disability. Throughout her school life, she benefited from specialist support from the Bristol Sensory Support service who provide braille teaching, resources, and technology, as well as having the personal support of wonderful teachers and teaching assistants. Hester hopes that she can help to make the educational life of the children in Mekele school for the Blind as rewarding and successful as it can be.
Why is Hester so inspiring?
We asked Ethiopiaid why Hester should win this award.
"Hester is an amazing girl who not only shows real grit to overcome her own disability but is also determined to make a difference to children at the Mekele Blind School in Ethiopia. Over £27,000 has been raised by Hester since December 2018. She remains determined to raise awareness and funds to improve educational standards at the school so that the children can be the best they can possibly be. Hester has never let her disability hold her back. We are so very proud to have her as a volunteer."
Jim Sewell and Tessa Murray - Co-founders of the Schools Triathlon
Nominated by Restless Development
Co-founders Jim and Tessa have grown Restless Development’s Schools Triathlon Series from an ambitious idea in 2015 to one of the largest sporting fundraising events aimed at young people in the UK. Over the past four years, over 9,000 children aged between 7-12 have taken part, raising over £1 million for Restless Development and over 60 other charities. The event is non-competitive and encourages children of all abilities to take part, including children with severe disabilities. Schools and local sporting clubs use the event to build confidence in children by teaching them how to swim and ride a bike.
Jim and Tessa have secured the participation of over 80 schools in the Schools Triathlon, and have delivered hundreds of assemblies between them. Their passion is infectious, and children really understand the impact their fundraising can have. Jim and Tessa have also secured £144k of corporate sponsorship since inception, ensuring all the event delivery costs are covered and the money raised by children goes directly to development outputs. With money raised this year, Restless Development has reduced the practice of Chhaupadi in Nepal by 73%, and trained 5,400 young girls and women living in Delhi’s slums in employability skills.
Jim and Tessa created the Schools Triathlon as a vehicle to promote teamwork, a healthy lifestyle, and active citizenship amongst children in the UK. Children are encouraged to fundraise in ways that address the Sustainable Development Goals for example through litter picks or making recycled candles. Through relationships developed for the Series, Jim and Tessa have enabled Restless Development to deliver further programmes to 7-13 year olds in the UK, which drive the sustainable development agenda and upskill young people to take action on the SDGs. In 2019, the Schools Triathlon enabled Restless to reach 3.5+ million people with this message.
Why are Jim and Tessa so inspiring?
We asked Restless Development why Jim and Tessa should win this award.
"Jim and Tessa have volunteered with Restless Development for 28 years and are true advocates for Restless Development’s work and values. Without their contributions and the money raised through the Schools Triathlon, Restless Development would struggle to continue its vital work with young people around the world. Their passion is truly inspiring - motivating and engaging thousands of children each year to learn new skills and raise money. The Schools Triathlon would not be possible without their committed support, their wealth of experience and invaluable expertise."
Volunteer Award longlist
Henry Pomeroy - Chase Africa
Henry joined CHASE Africa in 2012 as the unpaid CEO. For the past eight years he has worked tirelessly on an entirely voluntary basis to grow the size and impact of the organisation. Henry has given not only his time, but his house to CHASE Africa as the office to keep overheads low and enable more funds to go overseas.
Henry has used his great wealth of experience and skills to grow the organisation from two volunteers to eight people, increasing the annual turnover of £36k to £450k and from supporting two community-based organisations in Kenya to 11 organisations across East Africa.
Claire Byrne - MapAction
Claire has led MapAction's software development team since 2012, applying her skills and knowledge as a volunteer to shape the development of tools that greatly improve the timely access to vital visual information and analysis for those coordinating responses to humanitarian emergencies.
She’s made a huge difference to MapAction's work, in turn impacting the lives of millions of people. Her team created a software tool that enables all the mapping volunteers to configure, layout and export maps in accordance with MapAction's high standards. This speeds up map production while ensuring quality, making maps available to emergency responders quickly and consistently.
Dr Keith Thomson - Mercy Ships UK
Dr Keith first volunteered with Mercy Ships in Africa in 1990. Since then he has travelled to the continent 77 times and visited 18 African nations both to serve with Mercy Ships and through the conferences he organises himself to teach safe anaesthesia courses.
Dr keith organised his first training conference in Uganda in 2007 and has since organised a total of 34 training conferences, seven of which were held onboard the Africa Mercy. He has served with Mercy Ships 24 times, including on one memorable occasion when he had to perform an emergency intubation after a riot.
Dr Michelle Le Cheminant - Orbis UK
Dr Michelle Le Cheminant became a volunteer with international eye-care charity Orbis in May 2017. At this time, she was the organisations first "associate" anaesthetist. The associate programme takes ophthalmologists in their final years of training, to support Orbis teaching programmes in a non-surgical capacity.
Following a recommendation from a long-standing Orbis volunteer regarding an exceptional young anaesthetist they were working with, Michelle joined the charity on its unique Flying Eye Hospital, during a programme in Binh Dinh, Vietnam for two weeks. Here she supported the training of local anaesthetists, both on board the aeroplane and within the local hospital.
Ann Njeri Wambui - Voluntary Services Overseas
Ann has been instrumental in implementing the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) project, which supports Rohingya refugee children to heal and thrive through the provision of early years education. Before Ann volunteered with VSO, she was a teacher trainer for seven years, and before that an early years teacher for five.
For the past year, Ann has been volunteering with Rohingya refugee children, and has brought together professional volunteers, community volunteers and a set of project staff to train fifty young women as "teachers" (Big Sisters) who deliver early years education to 1,500 children within the Rohingya refugee camps.