Two members of team Daisy Chain have been shortlisted for prestigious awards in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector.

Melissa McRobb and Angela Middleton-Hughes have both been shortlisted for awards in the annual achievement awards run by Catalyst which represents the VCSE sector in Stockton borough.

Melissa, 20, has been shortlisted in the Young Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with the young people affected by autism at Daisy Chain – she has spent three years giving her time to work in after-school clubs, the holiday activity clubs and the weekly toddler and crèche sessions.

Jayne Butler, Daisy Chain volunteer coordinator nominated Melissa because of her hard work and dedication to the charity. Says Jayne, ‘Melissa is still only 20 and she has been volunteering with us for a long time already. She is brilliant with the young people, the young children and babies, all age groups and she works brilliantly with the staff.

‘Melissa is a very caring person, she is hardworking and reliable and such a valuable volunteer – we all love her.’

Melissa herself has a diagnosis of Asperger’s and attended Daisy Chain clubs when she was younger so she is very familiar with the charity and says that volunteering helps build her confidence. ‘I love coming to Daisy Chain and seeing the progress the children are making and how we have helped them make that progress. It’s good experience for me too as I would like to be a teaching assistant for children with complex needs.

‘I am really happy to have been shortlisted for an award and it was lovely when Jayne told me she had nominated me because she was so proud of me and the work I had done at Daisy Chain.’

Also shortlisted, in the Outstanding Achievement category, is Angela Middleton-Hughes, who has worked for Daisy Chain since 2010, dedicating herself to supporting vulnerable children, young people and adults with autism as well as their parents and siblings. However, the nomination is for her commitment in a crisis situation.

Jennifer Hewitt, head of services and learning, says, ‘Angela’s commitment to the people she supports is amazing but her willingness to go above and beyond to support a young person in crisis in her own time is a credit not just to her professionalism but how much she personally cares and takes responsibility.’

Neeraj Sharma, Daisy Chain chief executive adds, ‘It’s an honour to have two members of the Daisy Chain team shortlisted in the Catalyst Achievement Awards. There is such an enormous amount of brilliant work which takes place across the borough in the VCSE sector to celebrate. All the team here are delighted to have two nominees in these awards which recognises the hard work that people carry out to support others.’

Steve Rose, Catalyst chief executive, says, ‘The Catalyst Achievement Awards recognises the outstanding work offered by services and individuals in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. This year in particular we have received a diverse range of nominations, which has further showcased our thriving local voluntary sector. We would like to say a huge congratulations to Melissa on being a finalist, which in itself is a fantastic achievement.’

The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 6th June at Wynyard Hall’s Grand Marquee. Tickets can still be booked on the Catalyst website


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