Vale volunteer Bethan wins national award
20 June 2012
After giving so much to her community in the Vale of Glamorgan
where she lives, it was time for 16-year-old volunteer Bethan
McAuley to enjoy some well-earned praise and a moment in the
spotlight after winning a prestigious national award from the Wales
Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
Described as a “prolific volunteer”, Bethan was a worthy winner
in the young person category of the Wales Volunteer of the Year
Awards 2012 on 12 June.
The awards were presented at Cardiff Castle by TV and radio
personality Frank Hennessy. They were give to a total of 16 winners
in the five nomination categories of individuals, young people
(under 25 years), groups, ‘green’ volunteers and trustees. All
nominees will also receive a certificate of high commendation.
"The continuing interest in the Volunteer of the Year Awards
proves that no matter how hard times are, people are still willing
to do what they can for others," said Graham Benfield OBE, Chief
Executive of WCVA. "The awards scheme is the opportunity for us to
repay their efforts by saying thank you on a national stage."
Bethan McAuley’s local youth club and the wider community in the
Vale of Glamorgan would be a poorer place if it were not for the
After moving to Wick from Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan,
Bethan found the transition from town to country life a challenge.
A lack of services for young people in the area prompted her to
become a mentor for others following in her footsteps, helping them
She trained as a youth leader and volunteers at her local youth
club, running events and activities. She is a young firefighter at
the local fire station, a volunteer inspector of youth groups
across the Vale, has qualified as a Young Leader, is
Secretary/Treasurer of the Vale Youth Forum, and has completed more
than 200 hours of volunteering as a Millennium Volunteer.
"Bethan is an outstanding role model for other young people,
setting an excellent example for them to follow," said nominator
Conway Hawkins, Senior Youth Worker at Wick Youth Club.
"At the youth club, she is an inspiration. Local youth
leaders often joke that they don’t need to be there at all, as she
can run it on her own. The club and the wider community would be a
poorer place without her, and her many voluntary efforts are more
than worthy of recognition."
Bethan said: "After two years of doing something I enjoy,
winning the Volunteer of the Year Award is something I never
thought would happen, and I'm so surprised that I have.
"I’m excited to see what the future holds for me and to carry on
doing my little part of helping the youth of the Vale of Glamorgan,
just as my local youth centre has helped me.
"Voluntary work has helped me, too. I advise anyone who is
thinking of joining to go ahead as through it I've met so many new
people who have helped me to where I am now."