CSV volunteers win Team London Awards for helping build stronger, greener city

Volunteers based in Camden and Dagenham have won two prestigious Team London Awards, showing how CSV projects are helping create a greener and more socially inclusive London. The awards, hosted by London Mayor Boris Johnson, were presented at a ceremony at City Hall on Thursday evening.

CSV’s Retired and Senior Volunteers won the Award for Cleaning and Greening. They made a difference in their Camden community by maintaining a garden and growing organic food for themselves and their neighbours, combating isolation and loneliness.

"The award winners represent just some of the thousands of volunteers who help hold our society together - and organisations like CSV are indispensable in making their work possible.”

Lucy de Groot

The fifteen volunteers, all over 50 years old, are from a range of countries, speak different languages, and face many obstacles including mental health problems. They grow their own vegetables and herbs to make pesto, jams and herbal remedies at an allotment at Calthorpe Community Project, Kings Cross.

Young CSV Respect Us volunteers with moderate learning difficulties won the Building Stronger Neighbourhoods category, on Thursday 1st March at City Hall. They were honoured for building relationships between generations, and creating a stronger community for elderly people in East Dagenham.

The seventeen volunteers hosted a Christmas lunch and party for isolated and lonely residents at a local care home. For some elderly people, this was the first time they have interacted with teenagers with learning disabilities. The young people invited the older residents to their school, cooked a two course meal using skills learnt at Barking and Dagenham Council, played games, and designed and made Christmas cards with the older people.

CSV Chief Executive Lucy de Groot said:

“In tough times, when services face cutbacks and many people feel insecure, isolated or under pressure, volunteering is more important than ever. Whether it’s older people with a wealth of life experience, or young people with learning difficulties, everyone has something to offer, and something to gain from getting involved in their community. The award winners represent just some of the thousands of volunteers who help hold our society together - and organisations like CSV are indispensable in making their work possible.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors

1.    CSV (Community Service Volunteers) creates opportunities for people to take an active part in the life of their communities through volunteering, training and community action. Last year 167,317 people gave their time as volunteers through CSV. The charity trained 10,287 learners of all ages. www.csv.org.uk

2.    The CSV Respect Us project creates opportunities for young people to work together and make a positive difference in their communities. The project supports young people with moderate learning difficulties to build their confidence, make new friends and learn new skills - in a fun and exciting way that encourages high expectations and creativity.

3.    For more information about the Retired and Senior Volunteers Programme, please visit www.csv.org.uk or call 020 7643 1385.

4.    For more information about the Team London Awards visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/teamlondon

5.    For more information about CSV contact: Oliver Fry or Francesca Toma on 020 7643 1312 / 1418, ofry@csv.org.uk / ftoma@csv.org.uk or 07855 456453 / 07966 168686