top of page
FVA LOGO 2023.png



Volunteer of the Year 2023 - People's Champion

Time to choose your champion...

We recently asked you to nominate a local volunteer who has gone above and beyond for their community over the past 12 months, and/or has an inspiring story.

We had some cracking nominations, and it was an extremely hard task to narrow it down BUT after much deliberation, our panel of community experts have shortlisted 5 community heroes. To vote for your favourite by selecting ONE of the following volunteers:

 Check out the profiles of the shortlisted nominees below  


Martin Elsmore


VOLUNTEER AT The Golden Triangle Club
An essential member of the volunteer team at The Golden Triangle Club, Martin gives a huge amount of his time and thought into providing a safe, fun place for adults with Learning Disability in the Forest of Dean and beyond.

Martin goes above and beyond to make sure that the members have the best time by arranging a selection of activities including demonstrating his fantastic DJing skills at regular discos and organising theatre and shopping trips.


For the members, this club is a lifeline and really enhances their enjoyment of life.


Steve Gregory


VOLUNTEER at Foresters’ Forest & FVAF
Steve has an incredible volunteer story.  V
olunteering has helped re-build his life and confidence after a brain tumour about 4 years ago. 


Along with volunteering with Foresters' Forest on a variety of wildlife projects, he has become an advocate and trainer for the accessible Walking with Wheels project and has become FVAF's in-house photographer.  FVAF recently received funding to send Steve on a course to learn how to teach Mindfulness Photography. He plans to use these new skills by sharing them with the Forest of Dean Community. 


He is an inspiration and a great story of how volunteering can change people's lives.  


Hannah McGowan


VOLUNTEER at Forest of Dean Hosts Ukrainians
The founder of the FOD Hosts of Ukrainians support group, Hannah has given, and continues to give hundreds of hours of her time to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Responding to the pressing need to help Ukrainian refugees, Hannah was the driving force in bringing the local community together to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive place for Ukrainians by matching hosts and guests. From raising money to pay for transport and everyday living costs, Hannah and her amazing community team provide advice and support to host families and financial and emotional aid to guests.

les crop.jpg

Les Cockle


An amazing example of a dedicated and selfless fundraiser, for many years Les has worked tirelessly repairing and refurbishing donated bikes which he sells from his house 7 days a week. 


Every penny made from the sale of the bikes is donated to Great Oaks Hospice. In just two years Les has raised an incredible £43,000 for the hospice and this money has helped the hospice to provide the wonderful care and support they offer to individuals and families across the Forest of Dean.

mark jones.jpg

Mark Jones



Community First Responder for South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Despite working full-time at a local secondary school, Mark supports the local community as a first responder, providing emergency care around the Forest of Dean at least twice a week.


Throughout the pandemic Mark volunteered thousands of hours and regularly attends cardiac arrests and falls, throughout the night whilst still going to work in the morning.

Find our more about the Forest Volunteers Awards here: 

bottom of page