Community Transport Award winners honoured for dedication
Awards have been presented to 10 proud Community Transport volunteers and staff members from across the county at a special ceremony.
Devon County Council marked the 18th anniversary of its annual Community Transport Awards at County Hall last Thursday night (15 June).
The awards, sponsored by local printers Pollards, with coachbuilders GM Coachwork Group sponsoring the prizes for the awards, aim to recognise outstanding contributions to community transport in Devon.
The 10 winners were chosen from more than 50 nominations.
Alan Hutson was named the Community Transport Volunteer of the year for his service to Ivybridge & District Community Transport Association. He was described at the award ceremony as, “the embodiment of what volunteering is all about, and has given an unstinting amount of time to help others, in a variety of ways and for many years.”
Alan was one of the main driving forces who helped establish the original Ivybridge & District Community Transport Association, when it started 25 years ago with one bus. During that time, he has served in all positions on the committee and worked tirelessly behind the scenes. The Association now has three community buses, 25 volunteer car drivers and Alan was instrumental in combining with the West Dart community bus service which was at risk of closure.
Alan said: “It’s a real privilege to carry the flag for community transport for a year. I just look at it as giving something back. Hopefully if more people do that it’ll make it a nicer place. We try to ensure people who live in the villages who might not otherwise be able to get to the shops, are able to get in to do their shopping, get to the doctors and to hospital appointments - the everyday transport needs people have. If we weren’t there a lot of people wouldn’t be able to stay in their own homes, which would cost the authorities to look after them. The passengers appreciate the service they get and it’s nice to think you’re making a difference.”
Alan was one of three people to receive awards for Volunteer Enablers along with Ann Roberts, from the Exe Valley Market Bus, and Mark Saunders, from the Exeter Community Transport Association (Exe Access).
The Community Transport Employee of the Year was presented to Reg Lake, of East Teignbridge Community Transport Association.
Three awards for Volunteer Car Drivers were presented to Dave Coomber, of Combe Martin & Berrynarbor Community Car Scheme, May Hibbert, of the Estuary League of Friends, and Denzil Pelmear, from Volunteering in Health.
In the category for Volunteer Minibus Driver Awards, the three winners were Ted Cameron, from East Teignbridge Community Transport Association, Glenn Goodman, from Tavistock Area Support Services, and Alan Wright, from Kingscare League of Friends.
Devon County Council Chairman Ray Radford, who presented the awards, said: “Community Transport services in the county provide essential opportunities for people to access health services, shopping and social activities and in some cases even helping people to get to work. The awards are testament to the fact that so much can be achieved by key individuals working within teams in their community.”
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for community transport, said: “The Community Transport Awards remind us of the enormous difference that small charities, and the local volunteers and staff who are part of them, can make to the everyday lives of the people in our county. Community Transport is a highly valued service in Devon and it’s nice that their efforts can be recognised at this annual event.”
All nominations were considered by a judging panel consisting of Elaine Cook, Chief Executive of Devon Communities Together, Moses Warburton, NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group's Lead Commissioner for Urgent & Unplanned Care, and Dave Black, Devon County Council's Head of Planning, Transportation & Environment.