Isle of Wight Age UK volunteer co-ordinator Mark O'Sullivan with the Charity Staff Foudation Award. Picture by Peter Boam.
EFFORTS to support the Isle of Wight’s elderly population through a volunteer scheme have been recognised nationally.
Mark O’ Sullivan, coordinator of Isle of Wight Age UK’s Good Neighbour Scheme, scooped the Charity Staff Foundation award for volunteer coordinator of the year.
He paid tribute to the hundreds of volunteers involved in the scheme, which helps elderly people across the Island.
There were 3,500 nominees vying for awards in 19 categories and the winners were announced at a ceremony at the Central Hall, Westminister on Thursday, March 14.
He said: "It was a fantastic privilege.
"I said in my speech that it does not matter how hard you work as a volunteer co-ordinator if you do not have a fantastic team supporting you.
"We have 360 volunteers helping more than 440 people.
"We have provided 31,000 hours of support for people and in some cases, without our help people would not have been able to stay in their own homes."
He added: "On going public sector cuts in available services have hit the older Island population hard and our Good Neighbour Scheme is steadily marching into this ever widening gap in service.
"We are supported by an amazing group of volunteers who are truly inspirational. Nothing is too much trouble for them when it comes to helping their older neighbours.
"I also have a fantastic team in the office who are totally committed to providing the highest standard of service possible. It was a huge honour for me to go to London to receive this National award and certainly puts our Good Neighbour Scheme on the map.
To find out more about the scheme and how to get involved please contact Mark O'Sullivan on 01983 525282.