Local Man Runner Up for Britain’s Best Volunteer Award
Local man, John Crawley was one of four runners-up in Britain’s Volunteer Award, nominated by Laura McIvor of the St Petrock’s charity for going ‘beyond the call of duty’ in every way.
Markel, the online insurance broker, came together with the Small Charities Coalition to honour one selfless individual in the UK with the Best Volunteer Award. Members of small charities, not-for-profit organisations, and community groups were encouraged to nominate a person they felt deserved the title of Best Volunteer.
In total they were five finalists, each of whom won a prize. The person named Best Volunteer won a personal prize of £1000 in holiday vouchers, as well as £1250 to donate to their choice of charity or charities. Each of the four runners-up was given an iPad Mini, as well as a donation of £250 to charity.
John involvement with St Petrock’s began in 2006, when he asked the charity for assistance when sleeping in an unoccupied building. Eager to improve the quality of his life, John volunteered to help out in the kitchen of St. Petrock’s Centre.
St Petrock’s is a charity dedicated to helping people who are without a home or who are in a vulnerable housing situation to become more settled and to lead more fulfilling lives.
Now in his 60s, John volunteers for four days at a week at St Petrock’s and is known to enthusiastically take any job given to him, even the least popular cleaning jobs. Such dedication helped the centre to achieve top marks during a recent hygiene inspection.
John also sacrifices his afternoons volunteering at a local charity shop, as well as helping to co-ordinate exchange of donations with Petrock’s and fellow Exeter-based charity Hospicare, which helps to ensure that both charities receive the items most relevant to their respective causes. John also recently spent several nights in the centre to provide emergency care and provisions during severe weather.
Such is the depth of John’s contribution to St Petrock’s that in her nomination Ms McIvor stated emphatically that it was ‘hard to imagine’ the charity functioning without his assistance.
The other finalists
The winner of the Best Volunteer Award 2014 was Emma Hall for her work helping over 100 families affected by Down’s syndrome in the Berkshire over the last eight years. John’s fellow runner-up, Catherine MacLennon, was recognised for her voluntary work with the Miscarriage Association, a charity which provides support for women who have lost their babies during pregnancy.
The other runners-up were Roger Pratten of Northampton Volunteer Car Scheme, who has volunteered to drive vulnerable and elderly people to their medical appointments, and 97-year-old John Shannon whose life as a volunteer has spanned eight decades.