Local volunteer Martin honoured with Trustee of the Year award

Devon Community Foundation hosted their annual Volunteer of the Year awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) in Exeter, honouring the hard work and achievements of the volunteers from the groups they support. Local volunteer Martin Weiler from Exeter was recognised with the Trustee of the Year award, sponsored by Devon Association of Community Voluntary Servicesfor his work with the Exeter City Supporters Trust and the ‘One Game One Community’ Campaign.

One Game One Community (OGOC)is part of the Exeter City Supporters Trust and is tasked with promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in Exeter Football Club. Issues such as racism, homophobia and other prejudices are prevalent in football today and OGOC looks to address these.As a Trustee Martinchairs the OGOC and was the driving force behind bringing a wide range of teams together at a tournament to tackle these prejudices. Fourteen teams took part including representatives from Africa, Afghanistan, Palestine, Poland and several multi-national sides as well as two teams from the Devon Lions, the local gay friendly club. These events take a huge amount of organisation, time and effort which he gave willingly; showing how committed he is to making a difference in football and the community. He has been described as an excellent motivator and a real team player, and everything the project needs to succeed.

Martin said, “It is a great honour to receive this award – I feel humbled. I am very proud to be a trustee of Exeter City Supporters Trust and the ‘One Game One Community’ Campaign. We are a remarkable organisation with over 4,000 members and are owned by our fans who remain at the heart of our community. I would like to dedicate my award to Fran Jenkin who was a trustee who sadly died in 2010. She inspired me and many others, including her son Laurence, to follow in her footsteps.”

Presenter of the award Pat Diango, Chief Officer of North Devon CVS said, “We chose to sponsor this award because as an infrastructure organisations supporting voluntary and community groups of all shapes and sizes across Devon, we are aware that Trustees are often the unsung heroes of the voluntary sector. They do what many think is the boring work – and also work that requires long term commitment - planning, looking for funding, making sure charities meet their legal and other obligations. Without them charities and voluntary groups would not exist. Good trustees are hard to come by and we believe they should be celebrated when found.”

Martha Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Devon Community Foundation said, “For this award we were looking for a trustee who had made a real impact on the development of their organisation, because they brought something special to their organisation and have used their skills, commitment and imagination to help it grow and become stronger. We are thrilled that Martin has been recognised for his fantastic work with the Exeter City Supporters Trustwith the Trustee of the Year award. He has shown an incredible amount of dedication to this campaign and is an inspiration to others around him. Congratulations to Martin on his well deserved award.”

Devon Community Foundation is the main channel for individuals, families, businesses and others to invest in local charities and community groups which address pressing social issues. In the last eight years, Devon Community Foundation has given £8,500,000 in grants to over 2,700 community organisations, voluntary groups and projects in Devon.

The nominated volunteers work with local groups to help and support others in their communities. Other winners included:

• Social Footprint Award: HSBC
• Rural Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers: Thea Rossitor (HomeStart Teignbridge)
• Children & Young People Volunteer Award, sponsored by Kitsons: Jordan Ley (North Devon Display Gymnastic Club)
• Safe & Well Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Mildmay: Jamie Leigh (Cool Recovery)
• The High Sheriff of Devon’s Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by the High Sheriff, Robin Barlow: Carol Lewis (Forches Youth Intervention)
• Thriving Communities Award: Street Pastors