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Swimming stalwart wins Cheltenham Volunteer of the Year Awards

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Swimming stalwart Ian Stuart has been named as Cheltenham Volunteer of the Year in recognition of the years of tireless support he has given to Cheltenham Swimming and Waterpolo Club (CSWPC).

The Alderman Charles Foster Memorial Awards took place at St Philip and St James Parish Centre in Hatherley, Cheltenham.

Ian is the first sports club volunteer to receive the award, which was presented by Cheltenham Mayor Councillor Colin Hay.

Shortlisted nominees included volunteers from the town's Citizens Advice Bureau, The Rock, Cheltenham, Stonham, Reclaim, Friends of Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve and volunteers from local primary schools.

The awards are organised each year by the Angela Gilbert and Mary Boucher from Gloucestershire Association of Voluntary and Community Action.

Ian played down his role in the running of CSWPC after the award was presented to him but judges were clear that his commitment to promoting the sport of synchronised swimming at a local, county and national level made him a worthy winner of the award.

He said: "I was surprised when I was told I had been nominated for the GAVCA Cheltenham Volunteer of the Year award and amazed and honoured when I won.

It's great that all volunteers are recognised for their work."


The award for the team of the year went to Building Circles in Gloucestershire, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities and their families.

Volunteer Co-ordinator Gill Firth said: "We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award in recognition of the wonderful work undertaken by Building Circles and our roles as volunteers."

Trustee of the year was presented to Les Bonney, in recognition of his commitment and hard work as Chairman of St Vincent's and St George's Association and his role in helping to secure the new centre Phoenix for the charity.

Les said: "I am delighted and humbled by this wonderful award. It really recognises the superb team of trustees, staff and volunteers at our inspirational charity – St Vincent's and St George's."

Over 80 people attended the award ceremony. If you are interested in volunteering in Gloucestershire visit www.volunteerglos.org.uk

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