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Essex volunteer receives prestigious award at annual event

A volunteer dubbed a ‘ray of sunshine’ has received a prestigious March Trust Award for her passion and commitment  supporting families and children in Essex.

Dina Volcov, 24, from Harlow, received the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ for the South East region, for her outstanding contribution at our Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service’s Meadows Family Hub in Harlow.

Dina, originally from Romania, came to England in August 2018 wishing to fulfil her dream of supporting children with additional needs. Since joining Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, Dina has also been balancing her studies with a job in a coffee shop.

Dina has been actively involved in various activities, including supporting parents and children in play and learn sessions. She has ensured every child is included and launched new sessions to specifically support children with autism and their families. For these sessions, she completed all of the planning and preparing of resources and has had fantastic ideas throughout, including a sensory trail and a mood board of faces showing each child’s feelings before and after a session.

Maria Dunajeva, Volunteer Coordinator, nominated Dina for the award:

She said: “Since Dina joined the service, her passion for children and particularly supporting those with Special Educational Needs has shone through. She works hard to ensure these children have the best possible experience with our services. Dina is very popular with parents who describe her as a ‘ray of sunshine’ thanks to her bright personality and the wonderful positivity she exudes. Dina goes above and beyond in her volunteering role and has even taken it upon herself to change display boards and improve the look of the Family Hub.”

Dina received her award at the celebration event which was attended by volunteers from across the county.  Adrian Coggins, Head of Wellbeing and Public Health Commissioning from Essex County Council, opened the celebration which was the third annual event of its kind.

Richard Comerford, our Managing Director for Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, was also delighted to be in attendance.

He added: “Every year, Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service has the pleasure of hosting an event to recognise, appreciate and celebrate the work of our wonderful team of volunteers who selflessly give up their own time to help local families. It is always a privilege to hear the amazing personal stories of those who volunteer and it is exactly the sharing of those life experiences and parenting knowledge that is so valuable to our communities.”

The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service is keen to hear from suitable people who may also wish to volunteer. They would need to undergo a full Disclosure and Barring Service check on their background,but anyone who feels they can make a difference and have some time should email SouthEast&AngliaVolunteeringTeam@barnardos.org.uk

The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, which is provided by us in partnership with Barnardo’s, ensures that families have free and easy access to local health services in the community whether in a local clinic, play area or in a family’s home.

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