THE best of the best in volunteering was recognised across the region with Bathurst’s Neighbourhood Centre Driver Supervisor Team scoring the top gong for Volunteer Team of the Year.
The annual awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering and acknowledge the work of the 112,000 volunteers across NSW.
Awards were presented across five categories, including: young volunteer, adult volunteer, senior volunteer, volunteer team and overall regional winner.
There were 420 finalists in the categories from across the region.
The Neighbourhood Centre Driver Supervisor Team has has a team of volunteers who for the past 10 years have been teaching disadvantaged people how to drive.
Team member Geoff Fry collected the award and said their success was very much a team effort.
“It’s fantastic, we’ve been doing this for 10 years but it never dawned on us that something like this might come up,” he said.
It’s fantastic, we’ve been doing this for 10 years but it never dawned on us that something like this might come up.Geoff Fry from the Neighbourhood Centre Driver Supervisor Team
There are around six volunteers in the driver supervisor team and Mr Fry said the program has had huge successes during the past decade.
“The number of people that have been to our course and have got their licence is outstanding,” he said.
Fellow driver supervisor Therese Short said the age of learner drivers varies from 17 year olds through to middle aged people who are only just learning to drive.
“We’ve helped an enormous amount of people to gain their licence, but not only gain their licence but to gain their confidence, their independence, being able to gain work because they’ve got their mobility,” she said.
Other award winners on the day included Anne Hopwood who received the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award for her time with FoodCare Orange.
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award went to Elise Dukes for her services to the Forbes Youth Action Team.
While, Karlene Irwin was awarded Adult Volunteer of the Year and Overall Regional Volunteer of the Year for her role as founder of Pay it Forward Community Shed Orange.
Regional winners will now go on to compete at the state finals later this year.