Test Valley Community Services (TVCS) hosted a Better Together Conference and their Annual Volunteering Awards last week, promoting the benefits of working in partnership and celebrating the hard work of volunteers across the Borough.

The Invisible Hero Award, sponsored and supported by the Test Valley Mayor, Cllr. Carl Borg-Neal, won by Pat Robinson, Knights Enham for her work in running community children’s groups for over 30 years. Runners up included Sister Avis, Romsey Abbey CE Primary School and Ray and Sue Jones, from Romsey Cancer Support Centre.

The Volunteer Team of the Year Award winners were the RASAC Counselling Team (Mid Hampshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre), a group of 12 trained and experienced counsellors who provide critical and personal support to help people feel empowered and more self-confident. The runners up were Age UK Sunday Lunchtime Drivers.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented by Duncan Tuffrey from Ansvar Insurance who have sponsored the Award for the third time. The winner, Joyce Baughen from Dukes Café, Andover and District Mencap for volunteering at the café for 10 years supporting adults with learning disabilities.  Runners up were John and Baggie Bowman, Enham Trust and Danny Hockley, James Place.

Deborah Harkin, Assistant Chief Executive from Hampshire County Council, was keynote speaker for the Better Together Conference. Other speakers included Sim Dendy, who helped to set up Romsey Food Bank and Siobhan Down, Yellow Brick Road Projects all of whom talked about the importance of working together.

Dorothy Baverstock, Chairman of TVCS said “It is a privilege for us to be able to celebrate the work of these wonderful volunteers, without whom many vulnerable people would not receive help. Every year we are in awe of the hours of commitment that people give.  Every one of them should be congratulated on their achievements”

This annual event also saw the unveiling of the new TVCS name and branding designed by local company Anton Visual and presented by Ed Fennell.

Chief Executive Terry Bishop said “ We are delighted with this new name and modern image which emphasises our community work as central to everything we do but at the same time, provides us with a fantastic opportunity to promote ourselves as a strong organisation for the future. It is certainly an exciting time for us all!”

For further information please contact Terry Bishop, Chief Executive Tele 0330 4004 116 or 07850092235   [email protected]