Friday 20th September saw local charity, Worcester Community Trust (WCT), engage in their Annual General Meeting (AGM). Chairman of the Trust, Richard Soper OBE, took guests through achievements of the charity during the previous year, as well as ongoing plans in the current year and into the future.

Key-note speaker, CEO of Worcestershire County Cricket Club (WCCC) Matt Rawnsley, spoke about his past experiences and how they relate to the incredible work the charity does for the community, on top of the collaborative projects that WCT and WCCC are running together to help and support the youth in need in Worcester.  Matt was also invited to assist in celebrating the priceless contribution from all the WCT staff and award certificates and gifts of thanks to the WCT volunteers who have really shone over the past year.

Awards were presented to the following volunteers:

The Building Block Skills and Construction Centre – Amanda, Elaine and Charlie the dog for their ongoing assistance in supporting our learners through training and for their never-ending ability to put a smile on our faces.

Amanda, Elaine, Charlie the Dog

JOY – Jacqui Hill for her contribution to the JOY project on a voluntary basis since January 2019, giving up 3 hours of her time every Thursday, including school holidays. The importance of her role with JOY is immense and clearly visible, especially when a new group member arrives in a distressed emotional state and leaves as a less troubled and happier person.

DAWN – Aneta Kwietniewska for her initial idea and creation of a new group to support other Polish women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Aneta’s group provides a non-judgmental safe space to build trust and talk confidentially about relationships and she has committed at least 50 hours to the group. Aneta also offers an enormous amount of support to the women in the group during the week and encourages them to continue to seek professional help when necessary.

ANETA

Community Connectors – Debbie Rawlinson and Amal Harischandra. Debs has provided over 450 lunches this year thanks to the funding through the Waitrose Community Matters token scheme and has committed over 100 hours of her time to provide healthy freshly cooked light lunches for connector clients to enjoy together. Amal has been a member of the Warndon Community Connectors group since November 2018 and was recently successful in in raising £500 funding to host WCT’s first Men’s Health event, in conjunction with Time to Change, to highlight the importance of and services available for Men’s Mental Health.

Debbie and Amal

Snack and Chat – Mal Parry for contribution to the Snack & Chat lunches, since the project launch. In the current year alone, Mal has raised over £500 towards the Snack & Chat lunches, through fundraising Tombola and Treasure & Trash sales events.

Mal

Community Work at the Ronkswood Centre – Jill Bridges and Melanie Eastwood. Jill for voluntary support of the Snack and Chat at Horizon, Tolladine, Dines Green and Ronkswood and commits at least 12 hours every week. Jill also helps at all events and celebrations, fetes and fundraisers. Melanie created the Stay and Play groups when she saw the benefit of this service to the local community, following the birth of her youngest child. Melanie also supports Ronkswood Community by organising community picnics, litter picks, trips and supporting our local events.

Jill and Melanie

Youth Work – Jack Collins and Melissa Tout for their contribution to 2 youth sessions every week at Ronkswood, including after school and drama clubs, supported by Drama Trees. Jack and Melissa plan the sessions and take on various responsibilities within the group, always there with plenty of energy and enthusiasm and both invaluable assets to the Trust.

Jack and Melissa

Worcester Community Trust survives, not only from the generous financial support from the various agencies, companies and individuals, but also from the absolutely vital and selfless contribution from its volunteers.