Inspirational Josh celebrated at House of Commons

Tuesday 12 July 2022 Written by: Adam

Joshua Evans (centre of picture) was announced as Community Volunteer of the Year 2022, an award which celebrates the actions of an individual who is motivated to support the community.

The Parliamentary Awards, returning after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, saw a crowded terrace at the House of Commons celebrate the achievements of five inspirational individuals.

Each has either personally benefited from or helped deliver Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, which are designed to provide sporting opportunities to young people, no matter their background or ability, so they can fulfil their potential.

Josh, from Newcastle Falcons, uses not just his spare time, but his determination and dedication to make an outstanding contribution on many levels. This has culminated in him igniting the passion of a whole tribe of young people to volunteer and get involved on match days with ‘The Cast’, a crew of people who help the fans experience of matches go smoothly.

A desire to help others came about after Josh personally struggled with crippling anxiety. He joined Falcons’ HITZ programme at 16 years old to study Uniformed Protective Services to help him pursue his dream career of firefighting. Josh also volunteers at the local Fire Service and the RNLI, all of this whilst studying full-time on HITZ, working match days with The Cast and working part-time at a supermarket.

Of his stellar work ethic Josh explains: “They say you need six hours sleep, if there’s 24 hours in a day you’ve got 18 hours of daylight to enjoy and I use all 18 hours to volunteer or work.”

David Shotton from Newcastle Falcons said of Josh: “I’ve not met a young person that’s as committed and dedicated to giving their time. He brings a lot to the team as a whole, with his humour, warmth and love of the region and his community. To have this all recognised is amazing.”

Jane Howard from CVC, who sponsored the award, said: “Huge congratulations to Josh, who is a real asset to the Falcons team.

“For such a young age, Josh demonstrates maturity and commitment to helping others well beyond his years, and I have no doubt this will serve him well for the future.

“The calibre of the volunteers Premiership Rugby has across all programmes is incredible. They provide their support, knowledge and expertise for free, often week after week, to help others.

“What they bring is invaluable, and I only wish we could give an award to everyone on the shortlist. Thank you to all of you for what you do!”

Wayne Morris, community and CSR director for Premiership Rugby, explained: “What Josh has achieved is both selfless and admirable. His desire to help others whilst working towards his own career goals will see him go far.

“We believe wholeheartedly that all young people, no matter their background or ability, should have equal access to sporting opportunities which help them fulfil their potential. Josh’s story highlights how our clubs and our programmes help achieve this and drive change for the better.”

Other awards being presented at the ceremony, attended by MPs and stars from Premiership Rugby teams, included Rugby Ambassador of the Year, Outstanding Achiever of the Year, Community Coach of the Year and a Special Recognition Award.

Visit [****][1] for more information on community programmes.

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