Third Sector Awards 2015: Volunteer of the year - Winner: Alice Walker-Shakespeare, Chicks

Awarded to the volunteer who has shown the greatest commitment and achievement in his or her chosen charity, social enterprise, not-for-profit or campaigning group

Alice Walker-Shakespeare
Alice Walker-Shakespeare

Who is she?

Walker-Shakespeare was a young carer for her mother and brothers. When she was 13 years old she was referred to Chicks, a charity that provides respite breaks for disadvantaged children. The respite break had such a profound effect on her that she decided to return as a volunteer when she turned 18.

What has she done?

Over the past two years, Walker-Shakespeare has volunteered on 13 residential breaks, supporting about 200 disadvantaged children. She covers her own travel expenses despite being a full-time student at the University of Chester. She has also given up time after last-minute cancellations, once making a 300-mile journey to volunteer at Chicks at very short notice. She has given up the last two Christmasses with her family to support disadvantaged children who would otherwise miss out on a traditional Christmas.

What else has she achieved?

She has raised more than £200 for Chicks by participating in the Birmingham Great Run and has become an ambassador for the charity, sharing her own story and helping to gain new supporters and volunteers.

What did the judges say?

Alex Feis-Bryce, chief executive of National Ugly Mugs, said: "To me, she is what volunteering is all about. She benefited from the services the charity provides and has channelled so much energy into giving back – she has probably, without realising it, changed the lives of so many people."

Highly commended

Jeremy Roebuck, Grow Movement

Finalists

Bob Lowe, The Silver Line

Annie Mulholland, Target Ovarian Cancer

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