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About the CPRE Awards

It is with excitement that we announce a new focus for our CPRE Volunteer Awards. The Awards recognise just some of the outstanding voluntary work being done within CPRE groups and celebrate the people whose dedication and enthusiasm make CPRE what it is.

What is it? 

Instead of having a presentation to a small number of volunteers just once a year at the CPRE AGM in London, we want Branches to be inspired to make their own awards - whenever they feel is most appropriate - with support from national office.The idea is to reward the many and varied contributions that our volunteers make – from the person who routinely tidies the office stationery cupboard to someone who has fundraised thousands of pounds for CPRE. We want to create the opportunity for many more volunteers to feel valued.

So we have put together different types of Awards to recognise and celebrate the range of work done by volunteers, ranging from small contributions to a lifetime achievement award for outstanding service over many years. Depending on the type of contribution, Awards will range from a certificate to a book token and Medal.

How will it work?

Branches and Regions would apply to national office for the level of Award they require. There are four different levels of Volunteer Award Contribution and you decide which is most suitable – we will then post the Award to you. It will be entirely up to you how you wish to celebrate the occasion. Presentations can be as big or small as you like - an evening gala to an afternoon tea – it is simply about recognising the value of your volunteers. National office would then support this by producing complementary media publicity – e.g. by uploading photos onto our website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

The process:

  1. The Branch or Region contacts national office requesting an award for a volunteer;
  2. The volunteer should be currently involved with the branch, or have stood down within the last six months.
  3. You will be asked for: the name of the volunteer; which type of award you would like; the reasons for the award; and the date and style of the presentation you are organising;
  4. For any ‘Outstanding Contribution’ and ‘Lifetime Achievement’ nominations, awards will be provided at national office discretion based on a value judgement of the contribution and/or length of service. We anticipate receiving around 15 nominations for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ a year from across all Branches. It is advised that Branches only make one nomination from their Branch per year. We anticipate receiving up to 5 nominations a year for the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award. 
  5. You will then be sent the award, with all certificates signed by Su Sayer our Chair of Trustees;
  6. Please allow at least 4 weeks before your event takes place, to give us time to order certificates and get them signed.
  7. At the event, we would like you to take photos that we can both use;
  8. Once the event is over, please send the photos across to national office so that we can publicise your day at national level and enable us to reflect all the good work people being done at Branch and Regional level. You will need to have cleared photography permissions before you send photos to us.

Types of Award

Positive Contribution
What is it? Certificate – individually signed by our Chair of Trustees, Sue Sayer
Who is it for? Anyone who has made a positive contribution to the Branch or Region
Examples: For any effort or task that has helped the Branch e.g. someone tidying the stationary cupboard and filing away long-standing documents to someone who regularly bakes cakes just to keep you going!

Made a Difference
What is it? £10 Book token (plus certificate)
What is it for? Anyone who has enhanced the Branch or Region for the long-term
Examples: For any effort or task that has been implemented and has a long-term benefit to the Branch e.g. a new filing system has been created that massively reduces your admin time; a fantastic newsletter template has been put together; the website has been updated and improved.

Length of Service
What is it? CPRE Medal (engraved by national office) (plus certificate and book token)
10 years = Medal + Certificate + £20 book token
20 years = Medal + Certificate + £50 book token
What is it for? Anyone who has volunteered with a CPRE Branch or Region for 10 years and over.
Examples: Time dependent but it can be over a continuous stretch of time or for those volunteers who have been helping on-off for a longer period.

Outstanding Contribution
What is it? CPRE Medal (engraved by national office) and £50 book token (plus certificate)
What is it for? Anyone within your Branch or Regional
Examples: Group who has made an outstanding contribution – with a tangible outcome - to the overall cause of CPRE This would be a one-off award to the person being nominated and is open to anyone who has made a made an impact in campaigning for a beautiful and living countryside. They could have single-handedly fought off a potentially-devastating planning application or they could be a keen campaigner who organised an exceptional event that led to positive planning or relationship-building outcomes. The contribution needs to be measurable in some way.

Lifetime Achievement
What is it? CPRE Medal (engraved by national office) and £100 book token (plus certificate)
What is it for? A one-off award for someone who has worked tirelessly for CPRE over many years.
Examples: This is similar to the Outstanding Contribution but is an opportunity to recognise someone whose outstanding contribution has been stretched over years of dedicated service to CPRE.

What's the difference ? 

The CPRE Award and the CPRE (‘Countryside’) Medal were previously different elements of volunteer recognition. The CPRE Awards were presented at our AGM held in June, and were given to those volunteers who had been nominated by their Branches and then selected by our judging Panel. We shortlisted for the following awards: Outstanding Contribution; Countryside Champion of the Year; Beautiful and Litter-free Countryside (one internal award, one external). The CPRE ‘Countryside’ Medal was available throughout the year and provided to any Branch that wished to formally recognise an outstanding contribution by one of their volunteers.

We wish to amalgamate these two types of volunteer recognition into one overall Awards Scheme, and have presentations made at Branch and Regional level – with more focus on photos and publicity. So there will not be any presentations at the National Office AGM.

So why are we changing the Awards?

For lots of reasons, really:

  • The first and foremost is that the presentation before the AGM could only celebrate a very small number of volunteers and only those who could make it to London. It was very limiting and restricted the potential for the day. 
  • The presentation automatically meant that other nominees were ruled out of receiving awards when they were very deserving of one. 
  • We want to give CPRE’s recognition of volunteers much more prominence, and opening up the criteria and the frequency of when awards can be presented allows CPRE to do this. 
  • We wish to enhance the overall volunteer experience at CPRE and this awards scheme is part of a broader campaign within national office to achieve this. We want to not only provide more opportunities for recognition but we also want to reflect the importance of our volunteers to the public. We are doing this by revamping pages of our website, where we are: seeking volunteer stories from Branches and Regions; advertising all role opportunities across the organisation on the CPRE website; and creating two new web pages – ‘why volunteer?’ and ‘ways to volunteer’ – to engage potential volunteers. By sending us photos of your awards presentations, you will help us reflect that importance to the public. 
  • We also have practical reasons: we often received few nominations and it took a few reminders to encourage people to nominate volunteers. This is probably because it is hard to distinguish between the contributions of volunteers – which is great! – but did mean that the Awards presentation was difficult to coordinate and somewhat lacking in enthusiasm. 
  • Finally, we hope that by being celebrated at Branch level, by the people they work alongside, the experience will feel much more personal to the volunteers. 
  • Will this scheme be better?

We hope so! We haven’t undertaken this change lightly – we weighed up and debated all of the above points and we then canvassed around, speaking to other charities and many were operating a similar scheme to the one that we’re implementing with you, with great success.
We believe that this new scheme will bring greater prominence to the role of volunteers by recognising their achievements, great and small, whenever merited. By doing this, we show how volunteers makes us who we are. And when people - both internal and external - think of CPRE, they will immediately think of our thousands of volunteers up and down the country achieving our charitable purpose: to campaign for a beautiful and living countryside. 

What now?

The Awards are available now! We would love you to put your requests in to Anna Mathieson, Branch and Regional Development Officer, aThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 020 7981 2845 for more information.

More for local groups

  • Circulars
  • Skills and Knowledge Directory
  • Trustee Board papers
  • Policy Committee papers

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