Community Foundation for Calderdale – Volunteer of the Year Winner

Our Community Coordinator Kev Sheils is recognised by the region as he’s presented with CFFC’s 2021 ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award

On the evening of 25th November, team members from The Basement Recovery Project attended the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s annual Community Spirit awards ceremony at The Venue in Barkisland. The event celebrates the continual hard work of Calderdale’s voluntary sector and recognises both individual and team achievements from charities and not-for-profits across the area.

Last night spotlighted some of the incredible work that’s been carried out over the last 12 months to support local people and provide vital services in what’s been a particularly challenging period. Rather than limiting the community’s resources, the COVID-19 pandemic in fact ignited Calderdale’s organisations to tap into the true values of Yorkshire Grit and go above and beyond to respond. The awards last night were a true testament to this.

Among those celebrated at the ceremony was none other than our very own Kev Sheils, The Basement Recovery Project’s Community Coordinator who received the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award. Kev works tirelessly to ensure that there’s an all-inclusive community offering that’s accessible to all residents who want to connect with like-minded people and build their support network. Recognising the importance of physical health on our overall wellbeing, Kev introduced the Couch to 5k Programme which has seen many community members graduate by completing their timed 5k Park Runs. When lockdown hit, Kev quickly responded and developed a remote ‘R.I.O.T’ (Running Is Our Therapy) group so that people could still exercise, connect and share their results online with the group. Kev also qualified as a Personal Trainer during the pandemic and now runs twice-weekly gym sessions at our Halifax hub, helping people set and achieve their personal fitness goals. Kev’s work raises a huge amount of awareness in the wider community and has had a significant impact on reducing the stigma that so often comes with addiction to drugs and alcohol.

More recently, Kev has been liaising with the Prison and Probation Services across Calderdale and Kirklees; connecting with offenders and offering them hope that freedom from addiction is possible no matter what adversities we face in life.

Kev said of his award,

“It’s weird because what I do is what I love doing and I’m rewarded every day as it gives me chance to be a valuable member of society. But it was really humbling to be nominated and I’m grateful I can show people that it’s possible to turn your life around when you accept some help. The power in the room at the event was something else. Hundreds of us coming together who all just genuinely want to give back. It was really special.”

Speaking of his achievement, The Basement’s CEO Michelle Foster said,

“We’re just so proud of Kev for everything he’s achieved and continues to achieve. Kev and his family are an asset to our recovery community and offer inspiration to so many people around them.”

From all of us at The Basement Recovery Project and the Calderdale in Recovery community, a massive thanks to our true community champion for all that you do. Well done Kev!!
A huge well done too to all the nominees and winners of last night’s awards. Events like these make us proud to be part of such a strong, supportive community and we look forward to next year.

 

 

Read Kev’s original story here.