CPA volunteers receive much-deserved recognition at prestigious awards

CPA volunteers receive much-deserved recognition at prestigious awards
Posted on Sun 19 Sep 2021

Several much-loved members of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s volunteer community have been recognised at the 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Earlier this month, the volunteer Equipment Services Team at CPA Allambie took home the ‘Team of the Year’ prize in the Northern Beaches regional awards, followed this week by Penny Howell being awarded ‘Adult Volunteer of the Year’ in the Upper North Shore region.

The awards are run by the Centre for Volunteering, which represents more than two million volunteers and many voluntary member organisations throughout NSW.

CPA Manager Volunteers & Corporate Engagement, Di Piper, said recognition for both the Equipment Services Team and Penny were incredibly well-deserved.

“We are so proud and appreciative of all our volunteers at CPA and nominating them for these annual awards is just one way we can show it. The Equipment Services Team and Penny embody all that is wonderful about our volunteers – they are incredibly generous with their time and skills and absolutely dedicated to enhancing the lives of our clients.”

A long-time part of the CPA family, Penny is well-known to clients for her musical performances prior to lockdown, she visited clients every week to share the joy of live music through her keyboard, microphone, amplifier, other musical equipment and her wonderful voice. During lockdown she has continued to stage virtual Zoom concerts, which have been a huge hit.

Penny’s generous, fun-loving personality has kept clients entertained twice a week, with performances so in demand that she has recently added two more weekly private concerts.

"The Equipment Services Team and Penny embody all that is wonderful about our volunteers – they are incredibly generous with their time and skills and absolutely dedicated to enhancing the lives of our clients."

Based out of the Allambie workshop, the four-person equipment services team – made up of Peter Bennett, Les Daniels, John Clayton and sewer Anne Cooper – have contributed over 22 years of volunteer service to CPA. All four work closely with our clients and CPA’s occupational therapists to provide safe, practical and creative solutions for clients.

This special group use their expertise to provide bespoke fixtures and fittings for CPA clients, building and customising everything from seating, support items, accessories and mountings, while Anne in the sewing room works closely with the workshop technicians and volunteers to furnish and cover all manner of assistive equipment.

“We value each of our volunteer equipment services team dearly.  We can’t thank them enough for being extraordinary individuals and team members who brighten up our working days week after week,” said Aaron Parker, CPA’s Team Leader Equipment Services.

Both the equipment services team and Penny are now eligible for a prize at the prestigious State Finals in December. Stay tuned for further news about our volunteers being recognised as the NSW Volunteer of the Year regional awards continue to be held!

And in yet another awards win, CPA Occupational Therapist Emma Van Brugge was awarded the ‘High Achiever’ prize at the quarterly CPA employee recognition awards.

Emma started her CPA life as a volunteer in 2015 with the Help at Home program, and in 2017 she won the Centre for Volunteering’s NSW Young Volunteer of the Year Award for the Sydney North Region before joining as an employee. She was one of seven award winners out of more than 80 nominees – congratulations!

Head here for more information about how to get in CPA’s volunteering program.

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