Winners of the Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award announced!

It gives us great pleasure to announce the first two winners of the Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award as Sue Martin and Derek May.


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 last year.


The winners of the inaugural award were announced on Tuesday night by Sir Keith Mills and Baroness Sue Campbell at a special celebratory dinner for the nominated Sported volunteer mentors at the House of Lords.


All of Sported’s 250 volunteer mentors deserve a huge amount of credit for their passion and dedication, but special congratulations and thanks to Derek and Sue for their outstanding contribution to Sported’s work.


Derek has been a Sported mentor since 2012 and has mentored clubs including Bridgewater Salford ABC, United Estates of Wythenshawe and Wildcard ABC. His ability to articulate and communicate strategic goals and successfully coach those who he works with has delivered huge dividends, as the following testimonial demonstrates.


“The contribution of our mentor Derek has been invaluable – he has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is a fantastic motivator. Derek has helped to clarify our plans, open doors that were previously closed to us and made invaluable introductions. Derek has been a God send in more ways than one. He has been our missing piece of the jigsaw, providing clarity to our vision, boosting our morale and strengthening our motivation levels.  Derek has certainly lent us new found energy and direction”


Sue has mentored numerous Sported members in the North East. Her experience working in the community sector has made her acutely aware of the sustainability and funding challenges faced by our members and is expertly placed to guide them through them.


“I genuinely feel Asian Business Connexions is in a better place all because of Sue. I do not think that paid expertise could have made a better or bigger impact, and the fact that Sue unreservedly took the time to help ABC must be worthy of recognition.  If anyone deserves an award for giving away their valuable time voluntarily, then there is no one more suited than Sue Martin.”             


Once again, many congratulations to Derek and Sue for their success at this year’s award, and a special thanks to those who were nominated – Amanda McDonald, Anas Hassan, Clive Barnard, Frank McGlone, John Horton, Maggie Pankhurst, Martin Briggs, Martin Corck, Neil Rutherford and Peter Lodge. Finally, thanks to all of Sported’s mentors who, because of your fantastic work, made the judging and shortlisting process such a difficult, but rewarding process!