Throughout the pandemic, volunteers across the country have played an essential part in helping people stay safe and have kept our communities going.

Dorset is no exception. At the height of the crisis, over 3000 people volunteered to support their fellow residents and more than 160 community groups sprung up overnight to offer vital support for local people in the ultimate hour of need.

And the work hasn’t stopped. There are volunteers and community groups still helping every day providing a high level of support to people in Dorset.

That’s why Dorset Council and partners in the community response to COVID-19 have launched the Dorset Volunteer Heroes Awards. We want to celebrate all those who have made a difference, and formally recognise their efforts and achievements.

If someone made a difference to you during the pandemic, or if there’s someone close to you who you think should be recognised, the Dorset Volunteer Heroes Awards is your chance to thank them.

Nominate your volunteer hero

There are three award categories to choose from:

  1. Individual volunteer heroes
  2. Young volunteer heroes (for individuals aged under 25)
  3. Heroic community groups

You can nominate to more than one category but please complete one form per nomination.

The closing date to nominate is 31 January 2022.

Recipients of the awards will receive a letter of thanks and a certificate from the Chairman of Dorset Council in the new year. They will also be invited to help plant some fruit trees in carefully chosen locations across the county.

In time, we hope these will provide fruit for local people to pick and enjoy!

Start now

Extra support to nominate

If you struggle with getting online, call our Dorset Digital Hotline (staffed by more amazing volunteers) for help on 01305 221048.

If you prefer to use a paper and pen, nomination forms can also be found in the winter edition of Dorset Council magazine which is sent to all households in the Dorset Council area.

Speaking about the awards, Cllr Val Pothecary, Chairman of Dorset Council said:

“From checking in on neighbours, delivering groceries and medicines, making friendly phone calls to those feeling isolated, to stewarding the testing and vaccination centres – there will be very few people who haven’t benefited from the help and kindness of a volunteer in some way, shape or form during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We want to celebrate everyone who has made a difference, the kindness they have shown and what they have achieved through helping others.

“If someone made a difference to you during the pandemic, or if there is someone close to you who you think should be recognised, the Dorset Volunteer Heroes Awards is your chance to thank them.”

Cllr Val Pothecary, Chairman of Dorset Council:

Next steps

Once we have reviewed all the submissions, we will get in touch to share the happy news with recipients of the awards and invite them to come and help plant the trees with us.

Look out for more updates about this on our social media channels in the new year.

Want to make a difference?

Volunteers make the world go round! They are essential to the delivery of so many vital services to people in Dorset.

Volunteering helps build communities and is a great way to meet people and learn new skills.

Find hundreds of local ideas and projects to get involved with.