UNSUNG heroes from some of York’s biggest employers who play their part in the city’s voluntary sector have been honoured.

York Cares, the aim of which is to encourage employee-volunteering through the programmes and support it provides, staged its Golden Moments awards ceremony to toast individual volunteers and teams who give their spare time and use their skills to support communities.

More than 100 volunteers and supporters from more than 27 businesses and York’s two universities, as well as community organisations, attended the event in the boardroom of Aviva’s city-centre headquarters. At the celebration, which has been held for the past 10 years, Joe Micheli, Head of Commissioning (Early Intervention, Prevention & Community Development), City of York Council, Stuart Page, Pro Vice Chancellor (Development), York St John University and York Cares board member, and BBC Radio York presenter Elly Fiorentini presented the accolades.

York Cares chairwoman Caroline Dibbs, Customer Engagement Director, Aviva UK said: “York Cares is making a huge difference to the lives of many people in the local community.

"We are delighted to celebrate the fantastic efforts of the city’s businesses and their workers with the Golden Moments awards and would encourage more companies to get involved with York Cares.

"York Cares is all about making York a better place through employee-volunteering. We offer a range of volunteering activities for employees to get involved in, whether that be improving the physical environment of the city through Team Challenges and the Big Community Challenge; supporting VCSE organisations to generate new income through the Enterprise Hub; engaging disadvantaged children in learning through Inspiring Minds (formerly York Children’s University); contributing to the well-being of older people in the city through Social Connections; supporting 11-16 year olds to work harder and aim higher through Aspirations or providing supported work experience opportunities for care experienced young people through Starting Blocks."

The York Cares Golden Moments Awards recognise the impact volunteers have in the city.

Ten Golden Moments awards and eight Golden Moments of the Year awards went to volunteers who had taken part in a range of activities across the whole York Cares programme.

The winners of the Golden Moments awards were:

• York St John University for their Inspiring Minds Healthy Humans module

Portakabin for their Big Community Challenge work at The Glen

• Benenden for their Team Challenge at West Bank Park

• Langleys for holding a placement as part of the Starting Blocks programme

• City of York Council for their Christmas Crafternoon

• Aviva for their Team Challenge at Greenfields Community Garden

• Benenden for their involvement in Project Dare

• Nestle for their Christmas Party at Tang Hall Community Centre

• Right to Read volunteers from Aviva, John Lewis and Portakabin for their dedication to the programme beyond their commitment of one term

• Vangarde Shopping Park Management Team for their contribution to the Big Community Challenge

Golden Moments of the Year awards recognise those volunteers who have made an outstanding impact:

• Portakabin for their Inspiring Minds Construction Module

• Joseph Rowntree Foundation for their Team Challenge at Lidgett Grove

• Yorkshire Bank for their sustained commitment to the Big Community Challenge and Team Challenge Week

• Aviva for delivering Project Dare

• Nestle for their Tea Party at Glen Lodge Independent Living Community

• Commercial Services, University of York for their commitment to the Starting Blocks programme

• Arup for delivering Project Dare

• Alison Cole, Aviva for her dedication to employee volunteering and engaging as many volunteers from Aviva as possible

More information about employee-volunteering with York Cares is available by phoning 01904 323482 or www.yorkcares.co.uk.