Victoria Caush, an awarded SCS volunteer who  volunteers on our delivered meals service

Exceptional individuals who contribute to the wider world should not go unsung, and local deeds were recognised late May by Lane Cove’s Annual Citizenship Awards and Ryde Council’s Volunteer Recognition Awards.  More than 100 people attended the Lane Cove celebration where councillors outlined the inspirational achievements of each awardee. Three of Sydney Community Services’ hundreds of fantastic volunteers were awarded – Victoria Caush and Michael Taylor were awarded by Lane Cove Council, and Isabella Wilks was honoured by City of Ryde Council.

Michael Taylor, Community Service Award – Michael has performed many volunteer roles with SCS in the past five years: as driver, gardener and both linen and food services as a volunteer with SCS during the past five years, and is known for his smiling care with SCS clients.

Victoria Caush, Community Service Award – works in the kitchen at SCS Lane Cove Community Hub packing meals and/or delivering them to locals. She has contributed her time and efficiency for about eight years and is always ready to fill gaps in our roster as well as do her regular volunteering.

Isabella Wilks presented with her Young Volunteer 2019 Award by city of Ryde Mayor, Jerome Laxale (right), while Deputy Mayor Clr Simon Zhou looks on.

Isabella Wilkes is Ryde’s Young Volunteer for 2019 – Isabella Wilks was recognised as the 2019 Young Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with SCS clients with a disAbility.

Young Volunteer 2019 Isabella Wilks (middle) with Ryde Mayor, Jerome Laxale, and Isabella’s Sydney Community Services colleague, Gaynor Starkey, a DisAbility Services Coordinator with our Hunters Hill Community Hub

Isabella was a uni student on academic placement with SCS as part of her Bachelor of Human Science degree majoring in community services. After graduating this year, Isabella continued working with SCS, volunteering with one of the Social and Recreational Groups for adults with DisAbility, which goes on outings from our Hunters Hill Community Hub.

Ms Wilks works closely with SCS clients helping them generally and particularly in overcoming social isolation. She also researches projects for clients to engage in, and writes an annual newsletter about clients’ achievements. City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale, was one of the judges and congratulated all award recipients.

“Our local volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community and I am delighted we can recognise the achievements of those who give up their own time to help those in need,” Clr Laxale said.

There are fantastic stories behind awardees’ deeds and no doubt, much appreciation from the community and many individuals whose lives have been positively affected by the generosity, talent, and can-do attitudes of awardees, including: –

Amanda Liddell, Neighbour Day Award – Lane Cove resident who rescued a five-year-old boy from drowning at Lane Cove Aquatic Centre last year.

Barry King, Community Service Award – Barry was the backbone of Lane Cove Computer Pals and  tirelessly helped many grateful people, especially seniors, with their computer skills. Sadly Barry passed away  in May – vale Barry King.

Bridget Kennedy, Citizen of the Year – champions sustainability by example: in her artworks, in community projects, at her home and garden. This jewellery maker refashions materials into new pieces and channels 10% of profits to the environment. She’s also a co-founder of The Repair Café Sydney North which fixes all manner of things.

Dr Bronwen Dalton, Community Service Award – for co-founding Ruff Sleepers which takes care of homeless people’s pets and offers social interaction and refreshments to owners.

Charlie (10 years) and Grace Doran (8 years), Young Achiever Awards – for creating charity Gear for Good when they heard some kids don’t play sport because they don’t have any equipment.

Dr Frances Christie,  Community Service Award – Frances worked intensively to develop the $2,000 Lane Cove History Prize from initial fundraising to managing submissions, supervising examiners and promotions. She is active in the Lane Cove Historical Society and its Carisbrook Historic House team.

Isabelle Heim Fund, Access & DisAbility Award – The Isabelle Heim Fund is a Greenwich-based community group which for 25 years has financially helped Walter and Chris Heim support their daughter Isabelle, who’s had severe cerebral palsy almost from birth.

Jeremy Cardew, Young Achiever Award – a volunteer on sound and lighting at Lane Cove Theatre since he was just 13, Jeremy is now integral to performance at Chatswood High.

… the list goes on – at Lane Cove Council’s website here

If you’re interested in  contributing to the community by volunteering with Sydney Community Services, please call our  volunteer coordinator on 9427 6425 or see  our volunteering page here