Stansted Airport honours its volunteers of the year

BIG-HEARTED Stansted staff have been honoured for vital work they carry out as fundraisers and volunteers in the community at an award ceremony held at the airport.

I-Volunteer is a special award scheme run by BAA Communities Trust to celebrate and reward the many volunteering and fundraising achievements of London Stansted staff in their local community.

The national awards were first launched in 2004 by the Trust, but for the first time this year, the competition was run locally at Stansted.

Speaking at the event, held at the airport’s Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted Airport’s managing director Nick Barton said: “Everyone here should feel very proud of what they have achieved. Congratulations to all of the winners - you are all important and valued ambassadors for London Stansted in the local community and these awards are just one way in which we can say thank you.”

Shortlisted entrants received a donation of �250 for their chosen charity, with category winners receiving �2000, and runners up receiving �1000. In total, �15,250 was donated to various charities and local community projects.

WINNERS INCLUDE:

Outstanding Contribution Award: The night’s top award of �2500 went to Heather Stevens, a security officer from Takeley. She picked up the award for her work for Help for Heroes and the Hedley Court Rehab Centre.

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Ms Stevens said: “I’m truly overwhelmed to have won this I-Volunteer Award. I was up against so many worthwhile contenders so it came as a complete shock. There really is fantastic support at the airport for the Help for Heroes campaign.”

Ms Stevens got involved in Help for Heroes by collecting old uniform shirts for needleworkers to turn into patchwork quilts. These quilts have been provided to patients at Hedley Court, the Armed Forces rehabilitation centre in Surrey.

With the support of colleagues, she also organised an airport-wide raffle which raised over �2000 for the centre.

Best Volunteering Individual: Personal assistant Anne Downey from Epping, won this award for her dedication and commitment to Epping Girlguiding.

She said: “I am really delighted to win the award. The money will make a huge difference to what we can offer the girls of Girlguiding in Epping but of course it also means a lot to me personally to have my own volunteering work recognised.

“It’s an excellent way to recognise the work of volunteers in the local communities and for us to raise the profiles of charities and organisations which we support.”

Best Fundraising Individual: Airport systems manager Sandie Oliver took the award for her role as a dynamic school governor at Milwards Primary School and Nursery in Harlow.

She said: “This money will make a vast difference to the school – they will be absolutely delighted. I think it’s excellent that Stansted Airport is so supportive of the voluntary work undertaken by its employees.”

Best Volunteering Team: The Stansted Airport Passenger Community Fund Committee won the award for their tireless efforts donating money raised from passengers’ unwanted foreign currency to local good causes.

Best Fundraising Team: Security officers Mike Stapleton from Cambridge and Rob Cable from Braintree earned the title of Best Fundraising Team. The pair raised hundreds of pounds for Help the Heroes by taking part in an off road driving challenge.

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