VBVA 2018 overall winners announced

Sported is delighted to announce that volunteers Eilish Ward and Steve White MBE have been named  the overall winners of the Vanessa Brown Volunteer Awards 2018.


The overall winners were announced at a celebratory evening at Sported’s central office at the House of Sport, London.


Sported volunteer Elish WardCommenting on her award, Eilish said: “The VBVA’s firstly highlighted the amazing work that is done by Sported, the volunteers and the member groups across the UK as a whole. It really brought home the difference that being a volunteer can make to these member groups. For me, volunteering with Sported is a wonderful opportunity to support our member groups to sustain, grow and develop and ultimately, help support the volunteers within the member groups to continue to do the invaluable work that they do. It’s also been a fantastic learning curve personally regarding my own development. To win the overall female volunteer award is still such a shock however it is something that I’m very privileged to achieve given the fantastic work of volunteers across the country. I feel very proud and privileged to be a part of the Sported family.”


One Sported member to have benefited from Eilish’s support was John Bustard at The Coast Office who said “It was a pleasure to work with Eilish – her knowledge, enthusiasm and passion really drove us to move beyond our comfort zone and into a productive and progressive space to focus our aims and mission.  Many thanks to her and Sported for this important service!”


Steve White with Cheddi GoreThe overall male winner for this year’s award was Steve White from Leicester.  Steve was one of the East Midlands’ first Sported volunteers and has amazingly delivered over 200 hours of support to  our members!  Pink Lizard is one such member. Its founder Adrian Hinds said For five years Steve has been there to help us with many different issues, bringing in funding was one of our main issues as this has always been an issue for us and many other projects here in Leicester.  We as a project that didn’t have much experience and knowledge on issues as funding application/bid writing and where to go to receive help.  Steve would direct and support us on where to go at a drop of a hat.”


Reflecting on the night’s proceedings, Steve commented “Vanessa Brown epitomised the best in life, to receive her award is a great honour and privilege. I would implore more volunteers to get involved in Sported.  My dream is to bring closer together the power of Special Olympics and Sported  to give hope to those with Learning Disabilities.”



VBVA regional winners 2018

The annual awards celebrates the outstanding contribution of our volunteers to building the capacity and sustainability of our member groups. Elish and Steve were among 13 regional winners nominated from across the UK.


• Peter Baker – East of England

• Keith Bates – London

• Alan Balmer – North East

• Jon Williams – North West

• Graeme Thompson – Scotland

• Allan Duncan – South East

• John Wilford – South West

• Rob Gilvear – Wales

• Colin Rothwell – West Midlands

• Gary Limbert – Yorkshire and Humber

• Claire Grainger – Volunteer Services – Light Touch