Josh shortlisted for national volunteer award

Friday 08 July 2022 Written by: Adam

A graduate of Newcastle Falcons’ HITZ programme who now volunteers with ‘The Cast’ at Falcons games, Josh is one of six inspiring individuals who have been nominated for the Community Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by CVC.

The winner will be crowned at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Awards ceremony, attended by MPs, taking place at the House of Commons on July 12.

Josh has made a significant difference at the Falcons, igniting a group 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.

His desire to help others came about after he personally struggled with crippling anxiety.

He joined the HITZ programme at 16 years old to study and pursue his dream career of firefighting. Josh volunteered at the local Fire Service, Lifeboat service and on matchdays at the Falcons. All of this whilst studying full-time on the HITZ programme and working part-time at a supermarket.

His love of the sea spurred him on to become a qualified lifeboat driver, and his volunteer work at the RNLI is literally lifesaving.

As a cadet at the local fire station, he takes part in training exercises, learning what it takes to become a firefighter.

Josh has talked with genuine passion about his role volunteering at the Falcons on match days and has encouraged and supported numerous students to experience the benefits of helping others. He professes that he will never give up helping other people.

He is joined on the six-person award short-list by Andy Bassett (Exeter Chiefs), Jay Denby (Gloucester Rugby), Sarah Loky (Harlequins), Amber Morgan (Bath Rugby) and Merrall Stanworth (Sale Sharks).

The Parliamentary Awards is a celebration of the incredible work and impact achieved by Premiership Rugby and its clubs, demonstrating how their work is making an invaluable contribution to addressing some of the biggest societal challenges.

Premiership Rugby seeks to help tackle inequalities that exist, believing wholeheartedly that all young people, no matter their background or ability, should have equal access to sporting opportunities which help them fulfil their potential.

CVC are proud sponsors of this award, designed to recognise a person who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through their work at their local Premiership Rugby club. Each person on the shortlist has utilised not only their spare time, but their life experience, passion and dedication to help support the lives of others.

Jane Howard, CSR manager at CVC, says: “The calibre of volunteers Premiership Rugby has across all programmes is incredible. They provide their support, knowledge and expertise for free, often week after week, to help participants. 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 the excellent work you do!”

Community programmes such as HITZ, Project Rugby, Champions and the Land Rover Cup are just some of the initiatives that Premiership Rugby run nationwide to help young people fulfil their potential.

Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby community & CSR director, says: “Thanks to the support of partners like CVC we are proud to say we help over 250,000 people annually via our community programmes. Our partners and the community teams, supported by our invaluable volunteers, help us to increase the opportunity for anyone and everyone to play rugby and experience the difference bringing sport into their lives can make.”

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