Our Magnificent Seven – 2016 Volunteers of the Year

Ollie Drackford
Head of Marcoms

2016 has been a momentous year for The Mix – in January two charities merged to form The Mix, in April we joined Heads Together as a charity partner and we supported a record number of young people in the UK (over 2m!). Many of these feats just wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our wonderful volunteers.

So as a thank you to the people who give up their spare time to volunteer with The Mix, and to cap off this year in style, we hosted our annual Volunteers’ Christmas Party – a day to celebrate and highlight the work of our volunteers.

At the event, with help from TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, we announced seven (from many) outstanding volunteers – whose tireless work throughout the year has reflected the values we hold dear here at The Mix.

Drum roll please…  here are our seven winners (with some words about why were chosen from our Volunteer Manager, Nadia Inwood):

Our seven award winners

The Newbie Award

Awarded to a new volunteer who stands out for their hard work, commitment and excellence in helping us to delivering a high quality of services.

Winner: Louisa Futcher – Community volunteer

‘Louisa has been a commenting moderator volunteer since February 2016 and a service user of The Mix since she was 14.  Louisa attends nearly every event The Mix hosts,  like the Summer Social and she recently spoke at an event about her experiences with The Mix.’

louisa futcher & chris

The Collaborator Award

This award encapsulates one of our most important values at The Mix – working together in collaboration. It is awarded to an outstanding collaborator,  who has worked in partnership to support The Mix.

Winner: Leanne Lloyd – Community volunteer

‘A former member of The Mix community, Leanne’s confidence issues were a barrier to volunteering at the start but her commitment to the service won through. She is now a general chat moderator who often takes on last minute shifts to avoid chat closure. Leanne is bold, brave and compassionate. Using skills she’s learned from The Mix, she now mentors young people at a Youth Zone near Manchester and is committed to telling other young people how The Mix can help them.’

(Unfortunately Leanne was unable to attend our event, so we don’t have a photo of her collecting her award).

The Swiss Army Tool Award

Awarded to the volunteer who has managed to do the biggest variety of volunteering roles at The Mix.

Winner: Eddy Altman – Community volunteer

‘Having initially trained to be a support chat moderator, Eddy has flexed his volunteering muscles to cover a wide range of service delivery. He’s a trained General Chat (GC) mod, men only chat mod and boards moderator. At the start of the year he volunteered a Saturday to support training for a session we ran with Ambitious About Autism becoming a great role model for other young volunteers as well as an ambassador for The Mix. He also volunteered two weeks of his summer holidays to support the day-to-day running of The Mix community and was really productive during this time.’

(Unfortunately Eddy was unable to attend our event, so we don’t have a photo of him collecting his award).

The Christopher Columbus Award

Given to the volunteer who has travelled the furthest on their journey with us –  in developing their skills and confidence.

Winner: Jessica Ridley – Helpline volunteer

‘Jessica has progressed really well since she started volunteering with us in August 2015. Her level of confidence has grown massively and she is able to handle contacts really well independently. Whilst on shift, Jessica is like a ray of sunshine; always smiling and happy to help!’

jessica ridley & chris

The Superhero Award

This goes to the volunteer who has gone above and beyond to support The Mix.  It is awarded to those who have come to our rescue by booking in to shifts whenever they are at risk of closure.

Winner: Rach Pardner – Community volunteer

‘Rach has been volunteering with us as since November 2013 and in that time she’s supported both organisational development and direct services by attending co-creation workshops, moderating live chats and helping us to evolve new support groups for young people.’

rach pardner & chris-small

Corporate Volunteer Award

Our award that is given to a corporate volunteer who stands out, this could be for length of commitment or their involvement with the charity

Winner: Mark Safier – Helpline volunteer

‘Mark has volunteered with us since July 2015, through our corporate partner Dixons Carphone. Mark is passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people, so much so that last year he did a 50km walk in last year’s Race To The Stones.  Not content with that, Mark also completed this year’s Race To The Stones but this time walking 100k! Mark is always enthusiastic and goes out of his way to support the charity and make a difference to the lives of young people.’


The Volunteer of the Year

Our final award, goes to a volunteer who has made a huge impact to our service and others they volunteer with. It can be awarded for length of service, involvement with the charity or a significant moment in the year, worthy of the ultimate title!

Winner: George Yeorghaki – Helpline volunteer

‘George has volunteered with us for an amazing 8 years. He has always shown such a tremendous dedication to the charity and to the young people we serve. George has not only volunteered on the helpline for those 8 years, has been an active and consistent member of our helpline volunteer forum. He brings a passionate volunteer voice to the table and has been an integral part of the forum since it began. George is a real leader, he trains our volunteer team through leading shifts on the helpline and supporting the team to deliver training to on-site volunteers. He’s continual willingness to help and support do not go unnoticed, even very recently George saved our bacon when he stepped in to facilitate a training program at a time of staff turnover. Without George we would have had to cancel one of the sessions! George is a supportive and friendly volunteer who makes everyone feel welcome.’


Huge congratulations to all of our winners, and a huge thank you to all of our volunteers. You are all superstars – and without you – we simply could not support as many young people as we do.

Inspired by our volunteers?

If you’re aged over 18 and interested in becoming a volunteer for The Mix, we’d love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter where you live, as our volunteers can provide online support from anywhere in the UK. Please email us at: [email protected]



Published on 20-Dec-2016