Islington Volunteer of the Year Awards 2021



Islington Volunteer of the Year Awards 2021

Hosted by Voluntary Action Islington
Wednesday 15 December 2021

We are very pleased to announce that Ian Spencer is Islington Volunteer of the Year 2021.
Ian has been recognized by several centres within the Octopus Community Network. Every day, Ian goes from one project to another, spreading his contagious smile, and making a huge difference in his community.
He has been community Gardener for Octopus at the community plant nursery on Tufnell park estate since it opened in 2018.
The Holloway Neighbourhood Group at the Old fire station shared that Ian for some years has been the only one out there taming the sprouting fruit trees, clearing the weeds and basically slogging away at all the physical jobs that keep our garden attractive and safe for others to enjoy.
At The Old Fire Station Community Centre, Ian volunteers as a gardener bringing his enthusiasm and commitment to their gardens. At OFS they often have elderly people who want to join the gardening group and Ian is patient, kind and includes them in all aspects. Without Ian, they would not have the beautiful garden we have now.
Ian volunteers at Elizabeth House Food Hub. Always the first one to arrive every Tuesday, Ian helps set up the food shop, packs and delivers food boxes, supports residents and make them feel welcome.
Ian has also been volunteering with at Greening Highbury Quadrant project and, again, has made a big difference there; bringing his wealth of experience in gardening to strengthen their team of resident-volunteers who collectively have made it possible to turn inaccessible green spaces into beautiful meadows, orchards and wildlife areas on a local housing estate.
Ian also volunteers at Centre 404 and with other gardens across the borough…

Navinder Kaur, Chief Executive at Voluntary Action Islington, said:
“It is hard to describe in words what an amazing individual Ian is. His commitment to making Islington a greener and more welcoming place is astonishing – and even more so because he makes such a difference not just in one area of Islington but across the whole of the borough. It makes me want to go and visit every place where Ian applies his magic, so that I can soak up the magic and be inspired. This is now on my to-do list for early in the new year! So, Ian, look out for me and other members of my team – we will be bringing tea and cake for you – just a small gesture of appreciation for the wonderful work that you have been doing and no doubt will continue to do in the future”.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards were sponsored by Doubletree by Hilton Angel Kings Cross. They were presented by
Jonathan O’Sullivan, Director of Islington Public Health;  HW The Mayor of Islington, Cllr Troy Gallagher and Peader McFadden from DoubleTree by Hilton.

The full list of winners is:

Winner Category Organisation volunteered for
Ania Maiagmiot Older Volunteer of the Year 60+ Islington Chinese Association
The Arc Foodbank Team Volunteering Team of the Year The Arch Centre
Ian Spencer Vounteer of the Year 26-60 Year Old’s Octopus Community Network
Adrian Brown Pat Haynes Memorial Trustee of the Year The Elfrida Society
Aleksandra Tihomirova Young Volunteer of the Year SoapBox Youth Centre

Notes to editors:

1.Voluntary Action Islington supports social action locally. It is the membership organisation for voluntary organisations in Islington is accredited Volunteer Centre for the borough.
Further information about the winners can be found here.
Marta Aparicio, Volunteer Services Manager, Voluntary Action Islington : 020 7832 5800
Louie Mears, Information & Communications Assistant, Voluntary Action Islington / 020 7832 5800





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