To our award-winning volunteers: thank you

CPRE, the countryside charity, couldn’t get anywhere without the support of our brilliant volunteers, and we celebrate them each year with awards. Here, we showcase just three volunteers from the amazing range of nominations we received.

We owe so much to our volunteers. We now have 45 different types of volunteering opportunities in place in CPRE across England, meaning that we have our volunteers to thank for everything from litter-free verges to stunning local photography on CPRE websites; from well-chaired meetings to making the petty cash balance.

We want to show our amazing volunteering family how much we value and appreciate them, so each year we open up nominations from all local CPRE groups to hear about the extra-special achievements of their volunteers.

2021 has seen a record number of volunteers nominated by their local groups and the national charity – a testament to just how many brilliant helping hands we at CPRE are lucky to have!

Here are just three of our 35 award-winning volunteers – and read on for a full list of winners.

Pitch Wilson: CPRE Durham

An older man outdoors, with white hair and a bright warm hat
Pitch Wilson, a volunteer at CPRE Durham for many decades | CPRE Durham

Pitch was nominated by Graeme, the Durham local CPRE group press officer, in recognition of his many years of service to the charity.

Graeme said that the group wanted to nominate 91-year-old ‘Pitch’ Wilson to recognise the outstanding work he’s done over many decades in promoting the values of CPRE in the north east.

Graeme explained:

‘As well as acting as CPRE Durham chair for many years, Pitch has taken an active role in his specialism – opposing open-cast mining applications.

‘He kept the Derwent Valley free of open cast mines for many years, helping win more than a dozen public inquiries and his last effort in this area saw him give evidence to a public inquiry in Northumberland which eventually decided to reject a giant opencast mine on the edge of the beautiful and picturesque sands of Druridge Bay.’

'His last effort in this area saw him give evidence to a public inquiry in Northumberland.'
Graeme, CPRE Durham

‘While we want to celebrate the protection Pitch has given to the north east countryside, what shouldn’t be underestimated is his willingness to be there for the more mundane duties of CPRE membership. He’s regularly chaired CPRE meetings across the region, ensuring he’s there to lead and support.’

Pitch’s amazing commitment to the north east was celebrated with a special contribution award. Thank you for all you’ve done for Durham, Pitch!

Lucy Farrell: CPRE London

A young blonde woman in a green jumper smiles at the camera
An award-winning CPRE London volunteer, Lucy, who gave brilliant digital support to the local group in 2021 | Lucy Farrell

Lucy’s award is in recognition of her enthusiasm and energy for connecting people and the countryside – and inspiring others along the way!

Danny (a trustee) and Neil (the local group director) from CPRE London wanted Lucy’s hard work on helping to launch the new CPRE London website to be recognised.

‘As part of the relaunch, we recruited some new volunteers with strong digital skills experience; we wanted to step-change our communications and web and social media presence.

‘Over the last 18 months, Lucy has been central to the significant improvements we’ve made with our communications. The improvements we’ve seen have been as much to do with Lucy’s infectious and positive ‘can do’ attitude as her skills and capabilities.’

'The improvements we've seen have been as much to do with Lucy’s infectious and positive ‘can do’ attitude as her skills and capabilities.'
Danny and Neil, CPRE London

‘Lucy has revamped our monthly bulletins and quarterly newsletters to make them more visually engaging, punchier and clearer to read. She also led on a #PictureGreenLondon photography project we organised in last year’s lockdown to highlight how Londoners were rediscovering their local green spaces.

‘This project was the first of its kind for CPRE London and Lucy coordinated a judging panel including the GLA Deputy Mayor for the Environment, a leading London University academic and a member of the Royal Photographic Society.’

Lucy’s hard work and skills are clear on the CPRE London website (including the stunning winning photos in the #PictureGreen London competition). Bravo, Lucy!

Tim Silvester: CPRE Derbyshire

Two men look at the camera and hold a certificate between them
Tim Silvester receiving his volunteering award certificate from John Ydlibi, the new chair of CPRE Derbyshire | CPRE Derbyshire

Isabella, the vice-chair of the CPRE Derbyshire local group, nominated Tim for a special contribution award. Tim is leaving his role as chair of the group after more than a decade supporting Derbyshire’s countryside.

Isabella said:

‘Tim took over the role of chair of Derbyshire CPRE over ten years ago. The group was struggling to attract active volunteers and there was concern over whether it could continue. Tim did not give up!

‘For several years, Tim was taking on all the group admin, as well as external liaison, and attended regional meetings to keep up to date with other colleagues. It’s no exaggeration to say that Tim’s personal commitment to the countryside and determination to carry on the work of CPRE Derbyshire has kept the group running smoothly.’

'Tim is also a thoroughly nice, approachable and supportive person.'
Isabella, CPRE Derbyshire

‘Thanks to Tim’s leadership of the team, we now have a new Secretary and Chair and have successfully recruited new trustees and planning volunteers.

‘Tim is also a thoroughly nice, approachable and supportive person, always helpful and ready to talk through issues. He gave unstinting support to Jo, our secretary, when she first joined and has agreed to stay in an advisory role to John, the new chair, to help with the transition.’

Without the commitment of volunteers like Tim, our local groups could never thrive. Thank you to Tim and all our volunteers for all you do for CPRE and for the countryside – and if you want to be a part of it, explore how to get involved with volunteering for the countryside in your local area now!

Thank you to all of our 2021 award-winning volunteers:

Chris Lewis
Andy Yuille
Charles Green
Claire Lloyd
David Irving
Des Brennan
Dorothy Abel Smith
Eliza Hermann
Elizabeth Akenhead
Elizabeth Hamilton
Frederick Cook
Gillan Gibson
Janette Ward
Jo Goddard
John Kirkman
John Larkin
John Moon
Lucy Farrell
Malcolm Touchin
Mary Booth
Moya Grove
Nevil Wilson
Nick Dummett
Peter Bedford
Peter Wilson
Philip Todd
Pitch Wilson
Richard Norman
Tim Silvester
Tom Hancock
Tony Stott
Valerie Bedford

A smartly dressed woman is handed a medal and certificate by a man
Award-winning CPRE London volunteer, Lucy, receives her certificate and medal in 2021 CPRE London

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