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Volunteer Awards 2018 entry details


We are looking for volunteers who have had a significant impact on the poorest and most marginalised we work alongside. This is your opportunity to reward someone who has devoted their time, energy, passion and expertise to help other people on a VSO project, and beyond.

How to enter

Janice Ann Perez with her award in 2017

Janice Ann Perez with her award in 2017

Deadline for entries: 5pm on Tuesday 31 July 2018

Judging criteria

  • What is the volunteer's lasting impact on the lives of the poorest and most marginalised?
  • How many people were reached, and who are they?
  • How inspiring is the volunteers’ story?
  • How the volunteer’s actions reflect the interconnected ways volunteers make long-term change. For example:
    • How has the volunteer improved the quality and effectiveness of services by working with local counterparts and communities?
    • How has the volunteer brought new thinking that, combined with local knowledge, inspires an answer to a local issue?
    • How has the volunteer supported better collaboration and participation (convening meetings, brokering access to information, and so on)?
    • How has the volunteer helped local people take control of their own development?
    • How has the volunteer inspired others to volunteer, or support their local community in other ways?

Judging process

  • Judges will be experts in the field of international development. They will choose winners based on a shortlist assembled by members of VSO staff, based on the judging criteria above
  • Judges will declare any conflicts of interest regarding relationships
  • All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence
  • Judges will use their own discretion to select a winner, based on their relevant expertise, and explain the result in a short summary
  • Judges decisions are final and binding, and no correspondence can be entered into relating to the final decision.

More information

If you need any more information, please contact volunteerawards@vsoint.org

Stephanie-Marie Müller with her award in 2017

Stephanie-Marie Müller with her award in 2017

International Volunteer Award

This award recognises the impact and commitment of a volunteer on a VSO placement outside their own country in the previous 12 months. The international award reflects the specific skills of a volunteer to bring in new thinking to a project that combines effectively with local knowledge or provides a different voice to help.

Stephanie-Marie Müller’s energy, enthusiasm and professionalism helped win her the award last year as she supports 10,000 smallholder farmers in Bangladesh.

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Ashish Varkey with his award

Ashish Varkey with his award

In-country Volunteer Award

This award recognises the impact and commitment of a volunteer on a VSO placement in their own country in the last 12 months. The in-country award is for an in-country volunteer that’s brought the most in-depth local understanding to resolve an issue or helped link local services to the most marginalised because of their local knowledge.

Last year, this award was won by Ashish Varkey, who made great improvements to the lives of women farmers in West Bengal by persuading 20 farmers from four villages to join a cooperative. In just seven weeks, Ashish transformed the way these farmers sell their produce.

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Community Volunteer Award

This award recognises the increasing importance of volunteers who make lasting change within their own communities in the last 12 months. Community volunteers work directly with VSO or with a local partner organisation. They bring a unique understanding of their own community context and the causes of poverty, they are motivated to help their community, and their passion, creativity and enthusiasm make them extremely effective volunteers. Often they are invaluable in persuading communities to trust and access public services, for example, mobilising their community to visit hospital, because the nurses have no time to go to the local community.

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International Youth Volunteer Award

This award recognises the particular skills of a young person on an ICS programme outside their own country, bringing enthusiasm and new ideas to a VSO project in the last 12 months.

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In-Country Youth Volunteer Award

This award recognises the particular skills of a young person working in their own country on an ICS programme to bring enthusiasm and local knowledge to a VSO project in the last 12 months.

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Impact Beyond Volunteering Award

This award recognises the significant contribution a volunteer continues to make after their time with VSO is over, after their placement has finished. This volunteer can be an international, in-country, youth or a community volunteer.

This award will be judged by a public vote. The shortlist will be agreed by the judging panel, and the public will be invited to choose the winner.

Last year, the award was won by Dr Maria Aurora Uyvico, who volunteered in the Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Thailand after her placement in Nepal.

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Education Volunteer Award

This award recognises the special impact and commitment of an education volunteer in a VSO programme in the previous 12 months. This volunteer can be an international, in-country, youth or a community volunteer.

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Team Award

This award recognises the impact and commitment of a team of volunteers in the last 12 months. These volunteers can be international, in-country, youth or community volunteers.

Last year, Randstad Youth Employment Team won this award for their work in Tanzania improving career guidance for young people in Tanzania. They gave skills training in 12 schools and established career service centres, and as a result 330 students started apprenticeships.

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Workforce Volunteer Award

This award recognises a volunteer who has provided invaluable support behind the scenes. These volunteers often provide essential support to one of our offices, like selecting or engaging volunteers, providing business support, organising fundraising activities or acting as an ambassador.  

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