Newport Ashley Named UK Volunteer Of The Year 2010
Released on: June 26, 2010, 3:29 am
Author: The Co-operative Group
Ashley Pyke, aged 17 from Newport, has been named The Co-operative StreetGames
Young Volunteer of the Year 2010. The announcement was made at a
special youth conference being held by The Co-operative StreetGames
Young Volunteers programme as part of National Volunteers Week.
The awards, now in their second year, recognise the outstanding work being carried
out by young people involved in The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers
initiative. The programme, which operates throughout Wales and England, was
established by The Co-operative and youth sports development charity StreetGames, to
help young people from disadvantaged areas gain sports coaching and community
leadership skills by volunteering at their local neighbourhood sports project.
The 7 finalists from England & Wales shortlisted for the awards were judged on
factors including skills and qualifications gained, general attitude, impact on
other young people and their community, as well as their personal journey and
Ashley, aged 17, volunteers at the Newport Positive Futures project which delivers
sport to young people throughout Newport.
Despite having a turbulent family history and arriving in Duffryn without knowing
anyone, Ashley has become an integral figure in the community. As well as leading
sports session for local young people, Ashley has also mentored other volunteers
experiencing troubles, is involved with attracting funding to the project and has
pushed himself to gain qualifications which have meant that the project has been
able to extend the activities it offers. He has also gone on to use his new found
skills and confidence to gain employment with a local ‘Soccer Tots’ programme for
under six year olds.
Michael Fairclough, Head of Communities and Campaigns at The Co-operative Group
remarked: “Ashley has shown real progress since joining the programme and has made a
huge impact to the project. Ashley is a living, breathing example of what talented
young people can achieve when afforded the opportunity. The skills and
qualifications he has gained show his tenacity and dedication to lead from the
Ashley was presented with his award by former 800m Commonwealth Champion and Olympic
athlete Diane Modahl, in front of around 80 young people from across England and
Wales who attended the conference.
The young delegates had all been taking part in a number of youth led workshops,
debating issues surrounding the positive role young people can play in their
communities, on how they can develop sports provision and on the future of youth
volunteering in the UK. A number of delegates also took part in ‘Dragon’s Den’ style
pitches for a chance to obtain funding from UnLtd Sport Relief for their projects.
Ashley said: “I was absolutely speechless when they announced my name as the winner
- I was so shocked! In volunteering I have the opportunity to do something I love
day in, day out. To be given an award for that makes me very lucky indeed. I have to
say a big thank you to all the staff at Newport Positive Futures who have helped me
along the way and given me the chance to play such an important role in others
lives. Hopefully I can give the support to other young people that they have shown
Jane Ashworth, Chief Executive of StreetGames, commented: “Through our young
volunteers programme we aim to give young people the opportunity to develop new
skills, gain qualifications and become active leaders in their communities. Ashley
is a shining example to other young people and a great ambassador for the programme.
He has helped so many people in his community. Congratulations to him and of course
to all our other young volunteers who are changing lives in neighbourhoods across
England & Wales.”
Notes to editors:
About Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers
• The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers scheme is now in its third year. A
range of case studies are available.
• The Co-operative are providing five years support to The Co-operative StreetGames
Young Volunteers programme totalling over £1m, of which nearly all has been matched
funded by V, the youth volunteering charity.
• Launched in 2007, StreetGames is the only national charity dedicated to developing
sport in disadvantaged communities and making sport accessible to all young people
regardless of their income and social circumstances. This is achieved by supporting
and establishing local projects around the UK that deliver doorstep sport, i.e.
positive activities provided to young people when they want it, where they want it
and how they want it.
• StreetGames is funded primarily by: Sport England, V and the Co-operative Group.
About The Co-operative
• The Co-operative Group stands apart from other major retailers in the UK as a
business, which is owned, not by a small group of shareholders, but by more than
five million consumers. With core interests in food, financial services, travel,
pharmacy, funerals and farms, it has an annual turnover of £14 billion, employs
123,000 staff and operates over 5,000 retail trading outlets handling more than 20
million weekly transactions.
• Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The
Co-operative Food is the fifth largest food retailer. The Co-operative Financial
Services is one of the largest and most diversified financial mutual businesses,
operating The Co-operative Bank, The Co-operative Insurance and Britannia.
• The Co-operative is the UK’s number one provider of funeral services, the third
largest retail pharmacy chain, a leading travel retailer, supplying the travel needs
of more than three million people annually, and is the UK’s largest farmer.
• Among its other businesses are The Co-operative Motor Group, The Co-operative
Electrical Shop and The Co-operative Legal Services.
• As well as The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers scheme The Co-operative
Group is also involved in other worthwhile causes such as Charity Mobile Phone recycling as well as increasing awareness on facts about Climate Change.
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