Medway Volunteer Network

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Safeguarding Children
Safeguarding Children
The aim of the session is to provide more

10-May-2017Keep It Local - Locality Launches Campaign for Commissioning Best Practices A national community organisation has labelled current commissioning trends as counterproductive and inefficient, and has la..

Medway’s Volunteering Community

Shared Stories

We hope you enjoy some of these stories from volunteers in Medway – keep watching this space as we hope to share more of these extraordinary tales of local people make a real difference to the lives of people living in Medway…

Medway's Volunteer Voices

A short film (made by a volunteer!) to help local Medway organisations celebrate volunteering during Volunteers Week 2017 - click here to watch the film and be inspired

 John Hill

John Hill (from Rainham) wanted to rebuild his confidence after an uncomfortable experience in his previous employment, and increase his skillset to open up more paid job opportunities outside his usual comfort zone.

John started volunteering with MVA in November 2016 as an Office Support Assistant, and is now moving onto paid employment – he takes with him ‘a sense of sense of purpose’ that he felt had been taken away from him.

Click here to read more about John's story.

'Where Volunteering Begins'

‘Where volunteering begins’ is a national You Tube campaign – it shares stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and gives an insight into the diverse range of volunteering opportunities available, and the different people who give their time.

If you have a story about your volunteering experiences that you’d like to share,you can send in your story to us at

The Barry Clout Award

Barry Clout joined the Board of Trustees of MVA in 2013. Barry was one of life’s givers - he gave his time, energy and knowledge freely and generously to things that made a difference. He affected lives for the good in everything he did and was loved and respected everywhere he went. He was especially passionate about young people and the countryside.

When Barry sadly passed away in the September of 2015, he left a legacy in the people that he inspired and the difference he made. In memory of Barry, MVA created an annual award in his name for outstanding contribution to the Medway Voluntary Sector.

You’ll find details of past nominees and winners of the Award below. We hope there will be many names added to this award over the forthcoming years.

2016 Winner of the Barry Clout Award

Elizabeth Esposito

Elizabeth for the last year has run All Saint’s Community Project’s new community cafe working full time despite being retired herself. She has

worked tirelessly from Monday to Friday each week and has given opportunities to people with disabilities or poor health to volunteer at the cafe.

In addition Elizabeth volunteers each week on a Friday evening at TGF Friday youth club for 11 to 18 year olds. She also volunteers at a monthly Alzheimers Group meeting.

A true ambassador for volunteering, Elizabeth also talked about the value of volunteering during this year’s volunteer week.

Linda Fiddyment describes Elizabeth as “a lady who has made a tremendous difference in our community and who is an example of someone who is always giving to others and encouraging them to be the best that they can be!”

                                                                                                    Elizabeth & 2015 Award Winner Alex Hyne

2016 Nominee Shortlist included:

Barry White: For the last 2 years Barry has been a volunteer with Age UK Medway helping people with dementia at The Mackenney Centre in Chatham Medway. In the last year he has contributed over 1095 volunteer hours.

Ron May: supports Age UK Medway clients that have been discharged home from hospital and encourages the client’s wellbeing to reduce hospital re-admissions. Since June 2015, Ron has contributed over 1000 hours of volunteering.

Chris Weet: volunteers on behalf of Hands & Gillingham Volunteer centre and Holy Trinity Church,Twydall and cooks lunch for 45 people at the monthly lunch club by donating 2 weeks annual leave from his full time job.

Farnaaz Sharief: Started ‘Manage your Mind’ workshops in 2012 and has helped over 1000 adults and young people with depression, stress and anxiety in Medway.

John Hitchcock: Has volunteered for over 40 years with the Rochester Blind Craft Club and at 84yrs old collects clients from home and takes them to the group.

Pina Bitti: Has worked for Strood Community project for over 10 years, offering guidance and support and help to homeless people.

Robert Wood: Has spent 20 years working with the youth of Medway and supports the Copperhouse Adventure Training.

Colin Matthews: Has volunteered across Medway for the last 40 years for many organisations and is committed to help shape the future of Health & social care across Medway.


2015 Winner of the Barry Clout Award


Alex Hyne

Alex was the inaugural winner of this award. Delighted to have received this recognition, Alex explains: “Having personally known Mr Clout, this is a wonderful reminder of the tireless work he carried out to ensure that his community had a powerful and effective voice. He will always be an inspiration to me.”