Sailors with disABILITIES

Volunteer Team of the Year NSW Winners!

When volunteers sign up with SWD, we’re pretty sure they don’t do it for the accolades; we hear that the main reason for volunteering is to give back to our community.

Our community and government, however, recognises the work of volunteers, as the NSW Government did on Friday December 4, when the NSW Centre for Volunteering held its annual state awards ceremony for which SWD volunteers were nominated in two finalist categories: Corporate Volunteer and Volunteer Team of the Year.

Volunteer Team winners!

Image credit: NSW Centre for Volunteering

Joshua Taig (front centre above), who provides web support and online media as a volunteer every week for SWD, was nominated as SWD’s Corporate Volunteer of the Year, along with one other state finalist. Joshua is released from his role with Ability Options during his hours with SWD. We congratulate Josh for winning a finalist award at the state ceremony, and thank him for his work all this year with SWD, without which our site would look quite different.

Jay Okamoto, Gary Donovan and Ray Anthony (above back) represented SWD as finalists for Volunteer Team of the Year. From a group of 20 teams across NSW, it was genuinely surprising when Sailors with disABILITIES Winds of Joy and Winds of Change teams were named as the winners of Volunteer Team of the Year, NSW, from among the 20 finalists.

From Volunteering NSW's website

"This volunteer team has provided programs to 3,000 children and disadvantaged youth each year for 21 years. The Winds of Change program focuses on what participants can do rather than their disability. It teaches teamwork, empowerment, trust, opportunity, self-esteem, and active communication to help participants be confident and actively participate in their communities."

Volunteer Team of the Year 2015

Team winners onstage with Paula Duncan. Image credit: NSW Centre for Volunteering.

This is a testament to great work weekly by all involved in these programs. If you want to volunteer with SWD, start here.

Thank you to all the volunteers who, weekly, and over many years, have run these programs and work with thousands of children and adults with disability or facing disadvantage. Thank you to The NSW Centre for Volunteering for this award. Thank you to Sandi Mahoni for writing and submitting the application which went on to help the team win.

Though we don’t do it for the accolades, the recognition goes a way towards acknowledging the work of volunteers and the organisation.