Champion of young people crowned for his work at Stars of Norfolk Awards
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2013
He dresses up as a charity mascot and boosts young people's self-esteem by organising outdoor camps at a north Norfolk activity mecca.
And to thank him for his dedication to Victim Support and Nelson's Journey, which supports bereaved children and young people, Duncan Green from Town Green, Alby, won the Volunteer of the Year award at the Stars of Norfolk Awards.
Mr Green, 47, has volunteered for Victim Support and helped young victims of crime since 1999 and in 2011 started volunteering for Nelson's Journey.
He said: 'I like to help young people because the get a really bad press. People are very quick to criticise them. I am more than happy to give up my weekends to help children.
'With victims of crime and the bereaved it is not their fault. They need someone to listen to them. I like to put a smile back on children and young people's faces.'
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He won tickets and a behind the scenes experience for Norwich Theatre Royal, sponsored by Thursford Santa's Magical Journey Into Christmas.
Other finalists in his category were Eric Bambridge, 90, from Templemere Norwich, who has volunteered for Voluntary Norfolk for more than 20 years and Tilly Vivian, from Belton, a volunteer at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston for 21 years.
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Mr Green, a father-of-two, is a teaching assistant at Aldborough Primary School and became involved with supporting victims of crime after becoming a parent governor at the same school.
He said he was 'shocked and surprised' to receive the accolade and thought the other two finalists were equally worthy winners.
Mr Green said: 'The atmosphere on the night was very supportive. We were all rooting for each other around the table.
'The Stars of Norfolk Awards is a great idea. It is special because people within Norfolk recognise people in the county. Long may it continue.'
He was nominated by Lorna Vyse, child bereavement support officer for Nelson's Journey, who was at the event along with his wife Sharon, 42, who used to work for Victim Support.
Mr Green said: 'I'm so proud to be able to do what I do. I'm humbled by the young people's stories.'
He first joined North Norfolk Victim Support, which no longer exists, and helped set up a youth advisory panel for 12-17-year-olds.
Mr Green also organised adventure trips for young victims of crime to Hilltop Outdoor Centre near Sheringham for three years.
The people he has helped include victims of low level crime including burglary to people who have been assaulted.
Mr Green now mainly supports Nelson's Journey and runs about 10 bereavement camps at Hilltop each year for children aged up to 17.
He first came into contact with the charity after his son, now aged 19, needed support following the death of his grandmother about 10 years ago.
'There are some tears, especially at the bereavement camps, and it does become emotional for us. It makes you realise how fortunate your life is. It is wonderful to see these young people supporting each other and that makes it worthwhile. That is what keeps me coming back each time,' Mr Green added.
He said he loved dressing up as the Nelson's Journey mascot – Nelson the cat.
Success has run in the family after his daughter Maisie, 15, a member of the Nelson's Journey Youth Panel, was part of the group which won the charity award in the 2013 Bernard Matthews Youth Awards.