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The Forest Volunteer Awards 2023 are all about recognising and celebrating the amazing efforts of volunteers in the Forest of Dean.

We want to hear about all those heroes who have demonstrated exceptional and outstanding support to the local community over the past 12 months.

This year we have 7 categories:

Your Volunteer of the Year – People's Champion - This is an unsung hero who has gone above and beyond for their community or has an inspiring story. We’re looking for volunteers who give their time and input to provide valuable services to communities in the Forest of Dean. Perhaps without these volunteers’ significant contribution, organisations might not be able to sustain the work they do OR maybe they have brought transformative change to other people or their own personal story by volunteering. PLUS The winner of this award will be decided by you! Once we have shortlisted the nominees, we will be asking you to vote for who you think most deserves to be crowned Volunteer of the Year 2022.


Outstanding New Volunteer/Organisation – This award is looking to recognise the contribution of either an individual or organisation who are doing something new in the voluntary sector. Do you know someone new to volunteering or volunteering in a new role or place? Or are you aware of a newly set up group or organisation, one that has reformed or expanded what they offer within the community? We want this category to celebrate outstanding contribution through volunteering within the past 2 years/ 18 months. It aims to recognise the significant difference that a person or institution can make in a short time. This category is open to all types of volunteer role and groups large or small. 

Young Volunteer of the Year 16yrs & under
Young Volunteer of the Year 17 – 25yrs

Split into two age ranges, this category recognises a young person who has shown a real commitment to their volunteering and/or overcome serious problems and made a positive difference in their own life or other peoples’.  It will celebrate the work carried out by young people who give up their time to help their community; in school, at youth clubs or a voluntary organisation.


Community Organisation Award 

This award recognises the outstanding contribution of larger organisations in the Forest of Dean who have made significant impact through delivering community projects, and/or positive change in the district. These could be any community or voluntary sector organisation including Charities, community organisations such as CIC’s or CIO’s, or larger groups who have a mix of staff and volunteers.  

Grassroots Award - Voluntary Group of the Year 
Celebrate and honour those small grassroots organisations who are making a real difference in the community.  These inspirational groups, run entirely by dedicated volunteers, will have had a positive impact on the people living in the Forest of Dean. We want to hear stories of lunch clubs, sports clubs, social and hobby groups, support groups, or any local group who are completely reliant on the tireless efforts of volunteers to help make a big difference to either in a small local area or in the wider community.  

Business in the Community Award 

This award is a chance to acknowledge the positive social impact local businesses have had in the local community. It recognises those organisations who have proactively committed to supporting and encouraging their workforce to volunteer for one-off projects or regular time to work with local charities or community projects. Or businesses who have actively supported the community in other ways. 

FoD Dementia Action Alliance Inclusion Award 

We are looking to recognise groups who are making admirable efforts towards being welcoming and inclusive to all. This award is not to reward perfection. We want to celebrate a commitment to enhancing accessibility and removing barriers. This might be by making physical improvements and considerations, creating clear and accessible communications, or building volunteering projects/programmes that help people to make a difference to their local community, regardless of the challenges they face, their age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, race, faith, or religion.

Who can nominate?
Anyone can nominate! Whether you are an individual local resident, part of a community group or from a local government organisation.  

How can I nominate?
It’s easy – just fill in our nomination form here or if you would prefer a paper copy you can request one via or 01594 822073.


What information do I need to provide?
Please provide plenty of detail about what the nominee has achieved and as much information as possible about them and their unique contribution. If you have any, please provide good quality photographs. Make sure that you have permission from anyone else in the photograph so that we can use it for media and promotional activities unless you tell us not to.   


Should I tell the person or organisation I am nominating them or keep it a surprise?
Ideally it would be good to let them know once you have decided to nominate, just so that they are aware and happy for their story to be shared. We want to celebrate and shout about the wonderful work of volunteers which would include promotion via social media, on our website and to local press.


How will it be judged?
All nominations will be carefully considered by a panel of judges. This panel will be made up of a mix of unbiased and independent judges including; members of staff from FVAF, a FVAF trustee, and representatives from local councils, businesses and media.


For more information or if you have any questions, email or call 01594 822073.



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