We had a brilliant night at the NNRF VOscars last Friday, celebrating our amazing volunteers. We appreciate these guys so much: they put in hours of work and commitment and without them the Forum really couldn’t function. So thank you so much to all our volunteers – we are so so grateful to you.

Celebrated with an incredible meal with food from around the world followed by a glittering awards ceremony.

And the winners are:

Best Volunteering Team: General Advice
The general advice team is full of welcoming, hardworking and compassionate volunteers who provide an excellent service. They see around 150 clients each week so it can get very busy and often quite stressful, but our general advisers are able to deal with such situations in a calm and patient manner.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lu Blackband
Lu Blackband has volunteered at the Refugee Forum for 12 years with the Anti-Destitution Project in the Saturday Group. She has always been a constant and dedicated volunteer. Most of you won’t see this lady in action because it all goes on outside of the working week, so this is a great opportunity for the Refugee Forum to recognise her contribution to our work with destitute refused asylum seekers.

Best New Volunteer: Mohammed Khamis
Mohammed started volunteering less than 3 months ago. He is very proactive in his volunteering. He is brilliant at what he does and has a smile that lights up the room.

Most Versatile Volunteer: Pat Fenton
Pat has been supporting children and young people for a while now, whether it’s teaching them English, keeping them engaged and motivated, or driving them miles away to important appointments and being there for them when it gets tough.

The Extra Mile Volunteer: Yasmin Tarifa
Yasmin offers her help before you even know you need it. Nothing is too much for her. She is passionate about delivering great services to our clients, and is an enthusiastic promoter of the Refugee Forum.

Best Student Volunteer: Katy Ray
Katy has devoted so much time to the Refugee Forum whilst also doing her degree. The Forum has benefitted hugely as Katy has helped out in many different areas taking on anything that was asked of her. She is now teaching in Palestine and is already greatly missed.

Best Adviser: Hong Chi
Hong is a long term reliable volunteer who has undertaken many roles here at the Forum during her time here. She is very reliable and uses her own initiative and is always happy to take on an extra job or responsibility.

Best Volunteer Tutor: Gwynneth Owen
She is enthusiastic and a very energetic tutor. Her students love to have conversations with her, and she brightens up our lazy Monday mornings.

Best Interpreter: Wiam Garod
Wiam is a brilliant interpreter and is always ready to help. She is a hardworking individual who is a team player and is open and helpful while being thoroughly professional.

Best Hospitality Volunteer: Kabirou Darboe
Kabirou is brilliant in the café. He is a charming and kind individual who is committed to what he does whilst always putting in lots of effort into his work. And also makes amazing bread.

Hidden Gem: Jess Ternent
Jess has been volunteering with the Youth Project for many years. Because her role is based at NGY, her contribution is often overlooked. She has been encouraging, inspiring and very patient with the youngsters, like a cool big sister.

NNRF Volunteer of the year: Aiza Javed
The contribution that Aiza has made this year has been amazing. Aiza has many different roles here at the forum and does an excellent job at them all. She has been quick to take on new challenges with great enthusiasm and is one of our most hard-working volunteers.

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