Volunteers winners 2016 honoured at awards celebration

At the awards evening on Tuesday 19 April 2016, 14 volunteers from across the UK were given awards for their outstanding services to Career Ready, in roles that included being LAB members and supporting students with mentoring and internship placements. 

Barry Sewell, UK Service Delivery Leader at RSA, is a LAB Member and Mentor at All Saints Catholic Centre for Learning in Liverpool. Barry said: 

“My own background very much matched that of the students that Career Ready helps out. I came from a deprived area of Hartlepool and was fortunate enough to get a job as an accounting technician at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. 

“I was really keen to ensure that I could use that experience to help others realise that they could move into the corporate world and succeed, and to prepare them for rising to that challenge. 

“A lot of the limitations for people from disadvantaged areas is being told what you can’t achieve. Someone who is there telling you that you can achieve it makes all the difference.”

Among the volunteers who were given awards were representatives from vital growth industries that Career Ready supports, including logistics, STEM and construction. Career Ready is working with a group of logistics companies to deliver Think Logistics, an industry-led initiative that aims to raise the profile of the logistics industry with young people and increase their awareness of the career pathways available to them within the sector.

Jim French, Director of PD Portcentric Logistics at PD Ports, won an award for the North East for helping to establish the first Think Logistics centre in Teesside at Stockton Riverside College.  

Jim said: “I was only introduced to Career Ready 12 months ago. When I was asked to get involved there were two things I set as objectives – the first was to open a logistics academy at in Teesside. The second was to put something back into the industry from the career that it had given me. The key thing for me is the satisfaction that you get out of seeing young people develop and the respect that they then give back to you.

“I hope that winning this award will help to raise more awareness of career opportunities within the logistics industry and gain more support for the Think Logistics initiative, so we can have a real impact on the skills shortage the sector faces.”

Angelika Chraska-Pongo, is Senior Community Relations Manager at Costain and a Mentor and LAB member at Quinton Kynaston School in London. Angelika arranges paid internships for Career Ready students at Costain and Yehya Hawila, an intern last year, was runner up in the AstraZeneca STEM Student of the Year Award for engineering.

Angelika said: “I am proud to have won this prize because it will help to achieve further improvement and also recognition of the importance of volunteering within the construction industry.

“The programme is important because it gives experience and confidence to young people and also opens doors to big companies. It is also a good example for employers of the importance of volunteering and convinces them that what they do can make a difference.”

Winners of the award were presented with a trophy as their prize at the Awards Celebration event. 

Meet the winners

North West: Chris Woods, Bank of New York Mellon
North West: Barry Sewell, RSA
London and the South East: Angelika Chraska-Pongo, Costain
Wales, South West and Midlands: Dave Davies, Barclays
North East, Yorkshire & Humber: Linda Hoyland, Santander
North East, Yorkshire & Humber: Kevin Elliott, Yorkshire Bank
Wales, South West and Midlands: Iain Crighton, Crightons of Peterborough
North East, Yorkshire & Humber: Jim French, PD Logistics
North East, Yorkshire & Humber: Steve Hosking, What Partnership
Wales, South West and Midlands: Marlene Harries, NatWest
Northern Ireland: David Condell, McAuley Engineering
Northern Ireland: Colin Regan, BBC
Scotland: Gary Merryless, Diageo
Scotland: Ian Ferguson, Aviva
Scotland: Alec Carstairs; Cela Consulting