Charities and community groups across Test Valley joined Unity for their Annual General Meeting, Volunteer
Awards and Conference which were held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Stockbridge again this year.
A lively day with 75 people representing a range of organisations joined the event to hear Public Health and
Test Valley Borough Council speakers discussing Community Resilience and how we can support local efforts
to improve health and wellbeing as well as engaging communities more effectively.
Unity’s Christianne Ireland, provided insight into the free help Unity can provide to charities and groups
such as funding information on funding streams, volunteer centre support and a range of ways to help
organisations to be legally sound and sustainable. She introduced North Baddesley Men’s Sheds who talked
about their wonderful work in he community and the benefit these groups provide to men who may feel
Five Awards were announced this year, more than ever before, including Veterans, Unsung Hero, Trustee,
Team and Volunteer of the Year Award with winners receiving trophies and cash prizes. The Volunteer of
the Year once again sponsored by Ansvar Insurance was received by Paul Martin, a local veteran who is not
only a full time carer for his wife but is also involved in many local groups.
A bumper year once again for volunteers who truly deserve recognition for the support they give to the
wider community across Test Valley.
Topping the bill, Dmitrijs Meiksans, a 14 year old student from Harroway School who is the Basingstoke and
Test Valley representative on the Hampshire Youth Council who spoke eloquently about the community and
how important Unity is to the future of young people. Terry Bishop, Chief Executive said “We are delighted
to confirm that Dmitrijs has agreed to become a Unity Ambassador for Youth and will be encouraging young
people to become volunteers not only to support local charities but also to enable them to enhance their
own skills in the future. It is an exciting opportunity for us all and we are thrilled he will be joining the