Banbury man recognised as volunteer of the year at Cherwell Love Where you Live Volunteer Awards

A Banbury man known as #mikeonabike in town was recognised for his service during the Covid-19 pandemic with the volunteer of the year award at the Cherwell Love Where you Live Volunteer Awards.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 6:34 pm
Michael Hampton, who won the Volunteer of the Year at the Cherwell Love Where you Live Volunteer Awards, is pictured with Cllr John Donaldson. (Image from Sanctuary Housing)

Michael Hampton won the Volunteer of the Year at the Cherwell Love Where you Live Volunteer Awards.

The award ceremony was held in the gardens of Cherwell District Council’s Bodicote House yesterday, Thursday July 8. The awards are organised jointly by Sanctuary Housing and Cherwell District Council, and have taken place annually since 2018 (with the exception of 2020 when the awards were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic).

The Cherwell Volunteer Awards celebrate the hard work of volunteers and groups in Cherwell.

Adidja Carpenter, aged 11, the Young Volunteer of the Year winner, received his award from Selma Wakeman and is pictured with Dave Earl (Submitted photo from Sanctuary)

Mike received the award for his selfless work as #mikeonabike helping the community during the pandemic with shopping and collecting and delivering prescriptions, especially for those who were shielding.

One example of Mike’s work included collecting a blood sample for a resident and delivering it to their doctors, volunteering his own time.

Organisers of the event said described Mike as a ‘true local hero,’ who ‘did everything with a smile,’ and ‘deserves recognition’ and is ‘a kind and honest person.’

Mike helped anyone who was struggling to get shopping or medication. Even after the passing of his father, Mike was even more determined to continue to give back to those who were isolating or shielding and unable to get supplies.

George Dumbleton, who received the Lifetime Volunteer of the Year award, is pictured with Cllr Andrew McHugh (Submitted image from Sanctuary)

Mike Hampton took to social media after the awards ceremony and posted the following message on Facebook, which said: "Today I feel so proud that the community and the council have given me recognition for my work as #mikeonabike since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

"Many thanks to anyone that nominated me as apparently there were too many for them to read out.

"I am dedicating this award to my mum and late dad as they instilled the values in me that make me want to help others in need. I will remind people that you can pop me a message on here if you require help.

"Well done to Prabhu Natarajan who came runner up.

"I received £100 as a prize to give to an organization of my choice, and I have chosen the Galactosemia Support Group."

The Young Volunteer of the Year winner went to 11-year-old Adidja Carpenter who ran every Saturday for six weeks, raising more than £4,000 for the Spit n Sawdust gym where he trains.

With the gym facing financial difficulty due to the pandemic, Adidja embarked on a sponsored run to raise money and keep himself mentally and physically in shape during the lockdown earlier this year.

He set out to run 10 laps of People's Park every day until his birthday in March. Through rain, sleet and snow he raised £4,000 towards improvement of Spit n Sawdust. A true inspiration to the community.

The Lifetime Volunteer of the Year winner went to George Dumbleton, a long-serving member (including past chairman and past president) of Bicester Round Table and the 41 Club.

George has played the role of Father Christmas locally for 50 years, bringing joy to many families and children and making and maintaining the annual Father Christmas float for the Round Table.

He has also been chairman/player/umpire for Chesterton and Wendlebury Cricket Club for 50 years, since the age of 18.

Other award winners included:

Voluntary Organisations of the Year: Cherwell Collective, Banburyshire Advice Centre, Banbury Volunteer Driver Service

Keith Davies with the Volunteer Driver Service (VDS) said: “Volunteer Driver Service (VDS) were absolutely thrilled to receive the Voluntary Organisation of the Year 2021 award at the Cherwell Love Where You Live Volunteer Awards, organised by Cherwell District Council and Sanctuary Housing.

"I knew VDS had been nominated but had no idea we would pick up an award, in actual fact I’d been invited to the awards as the official photographer.

"VDS have been going full-tilt over the last year and our volunteers are simply amazing, they are the lifeblood of our organisation.

"VDS have four admin support volunteers and well over 100 volunteer drivers who between them do 650 journeys covering 20,000 miles every month.

"If you would like to join Volunteer Driver Service as a volunteer driver please email [email protected]

Community Venue of the Year winner - Bicester East Community Centre

Voluntary Organisations of the Year winners - Cherwell Collective, Banburyshire Advice Centre, Banbury Volunteer Driver Service.