Shortlist for inaugural Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award announced

Sported is delighted to announce the first 12 volunteer mentors to be nominated for the inaugural Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award.


The award was launched this year to celebrate the life of Vanessa Brown – a much loved Sported staff member and friend – who sadly passed away a year ago today.


Vanessa enjoyed a long career in the community sport sector and left an amazing legacy at Sported. Her early work and dedication helping Sir Keith Mills realise his vision of establishing a UK-wide network of community groups using Sport for Development has resulted in the amazing charity that you see today.


The annual award recognises the outstanding contribution made by Sported’s volunteer mentors to the growth and development of the charity’s 3,000-plus members. Each of Sported’s 12 Regional and National Managers had the very difficult task of narrowing down and nominating just one volunteer from their respective region to be shortlisted for this year’s award.


After much deliberation, Sported is proud to name the following shortlist for the Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award 2015:


Amanda McDonald – West Midlands

Anas Hassan – London

Clive Barnard – Wales

Derek May – North West

Frank McGlone – Northern Ireland

John Horton – South East

Maggie Pankhurst – East Midlands

Martin Briggs – South West

Martin Corck – East

Neil Rutherford – Scotland

Peter Lodge – Yorkshire & Humberside                    

Sue Martin – North East


The inaugural winner of the Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award will be selected by a guest panel of judges and will be announced at a special celebratory dinner at the House of Lords on Tuesday 14 July 2015.


Sir Keith Mills, founder and chairman of trustees of Sported, said: “It is a great honour to celebrate the life of our much missed friend and colleague with the launch of the Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award.


I had the pleasure of working closely with Vanessa for many years, and will always remember her incredible warmth, humour and passion for all things sport. It’s a fitting tribute then, that we recognise the contribution she made to Sported by honouring another special group of people – our volunteer mentors. These unsung heroes remain central to Sported’s work as a charity and thanks to their efforts young people across the UK are being given unique opportunities to transform their lives. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteer mentors and to congratulate those shortlisted.”