Nominate a volunteering hero

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VOLUNTEERING hero Natalie George has joined with the UK’s greatest ever Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, to call for nominations for the vInspired National Awards.

The awards are the country’s largest celebration of young volunteers. Natalie, 19, was a finalist in the ‘Best New Volunteer’ category at last year’s ceremony, for her work with Brook Pennine on the v24/24 Sex Positive campaign, where she helps raise positive understanding of different sexualities, and uses her own experiences as a teen mum to raise awareness of safe sex.

She said: “It’s been brilliant to see how proud the country is of the Olympic volunteers. It’s opened people’s eyes to how much volunteers can achieve. I want to make sure that other young volunteers, who are doing things for Oldham all year round, get the same recognition. I was so proud to be a finalist at the vInspired National Awards last year. You don’t volunteer to get awards, but it felt good to know that the community appreciates what I do and that, hopefully, I can inspire other young people to get involved.”

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson will be one of the judges for this year’s vInspired National Awards. After seeing the amazing gratitude the games volunteers received from the country, she is keen that young volunteers like Natalie are celebrated in the same way:

“The past year has really shown us what amazing stuff volunteers can achieve. Our Olympic and Paralympic Gamesmakers helped to make a once-in- a-life-time event happen for our country.

“But there are thousands more un-sung young heroes working hard every-day making equally amazing things happen for their communities every day. This year more than ever we need to recognise our country’s young volunteers – we’ve never had a better opportunity to inspire a new generation of community heroes. The vInspired National Awards are an amazing celebration of young volunteers.

“If you know a great young volunteer who could be an inspiration to others, this is the year to give them the recognition they deserve. Nominate them now!”

Natalie credits volunteering with allowing her to learn new skills and gain confidence, and has enjoyed being able to work as part of a team. She is a complete convert to volunteering.

Nominations for the awards close on November 2.

The star-studded awards ceremony will take place at the world-famous Roundhouse, London in March 2013. For more information and to celebrate a great young volunteer (under 25), visit