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Inspirational young volunteers recognised at awards ceremony

PUBLISHED: 15:48 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 26 March 2019

Nelson's Journey young volunteers with their awards. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Nelson's Journey young volunteers with their awards. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography.

Copyright Simon Finlay 2019

The achievements of young volunteers who support a child bereavement charity in Norfolk have been celebrated at an awards ceremony.

Owen Leeder receives his platinum volunteer award from Lady Pippa Dannatt. Photo: Simon Finlay PhotographyOwen Leeder receives his platinum volunteer award from Lady Pippa Dannatt. Photo: Simon Finlay Photography

Young people who volunteer for charity Nelson’s Journey have clocked up a total of 1,418 hours over the course of 2018, with 26 of them honoured at a ceremony at Oaklands Hotel in Norwich.

Many of the young volunteers have previously used Nelson’s Journey’s services after the death of a special person in their life and have now come back to volunteer for the charity, helping to develop products and services to help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

Nearly 100 people attended the awards night on Wednesday, March 20, including representatives from ABC Taxis, the Shelroy Trust, Norfolk Scouts commissioner Matthew Burrell, Aimee Gedge from Momentum Norfolk and charity patrons William Armstrong OBE, Lady Pippa Dannatt and Carol Bundock.

Guests were treated to a presentation detailing the work of the young volunteers, which included the launch of products such as the Smiles and Tears Gift Box, a thoughtful gift for a bereaved child or young person.

Lady Pippa Dannatt gave out the bronze, silver, and gold awards to eight young volunteers who had achieved 50, 100 and 150 hours of volunteering.

Owen Leeder, 16, of Scole near Diss, received the night’s only platinum award, after volunteering more than 300 hours with Nelson’s Journey since he started as a young volunteer four years ago.

Simon Wright, chief executive for Nelson’s Journey, said: “We really enjoyed celebrating the incredible achievements of our young volunteers, both to celebrate their successes of the past year and shine a spotlight on the innovative and inspiring work that they are continuing to do for us.

“The views and voice of young people is integral to all we do at Nelson’s Journey and this group of dedicated and passionate young people is a huge asset to our work.

“We are very excited about the range of projects that they are working on in 2019, including launching our memory bricks project which can be used to create a wall of memorial and hosting a Purple Picnic at BeWILDerwood for families that we support.”

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