08.08.2023 | County Gardens Trust, News, Volunteer, Volunteer Award

The Gardens Trust is delighted by nominations for its Volunteer Award

This summer the Gardens Trust is delighted to have received a range of impressive nominations for its new annual Volunteer Award.

The Volunteer Award is intended to celebrate volunteers and recognise the value of volunteering; showcase volunteers and the contribution they make; and encourage volunteering through a variety of roles. It is a relaunch of the popular Volunteer of the Year Award, which has run for many years, before being paused in 2021.

The nominations are now in and our chairman Peter Hughes said: “We have had a truly impressive set of nominations for this year’s Volunteer of the Year award and each one would make a worthy winner.  It is invidious to choose between them, but the rules provide that the judges can make only one award, so they face an unenviable task. The suspense will finally be over on the 7th September when the winner of the 2023 Volunteer Award is announced and the award presented at the Historic Landscape Volunteering Celebration.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to the following Volunteer Award 2023 nominees:

  • Jeryl Andrew for their work with Devon Gardens Trust, initiating and filling the role of Head of Governance, happily injecting ‘good practice’ into the organization, described by her nominator as ‘a ‘dry’ but essential role which few people would voluntarily adopt!’
  • Elizabeth Bowskill for her work for Lincolnshire Gardens Trust, over many years running its events, acting as Secretary, and being ‘equally outstanding’ in networking with many local community and volunteer groups concerned with conservation, heritage, schools and wildlife. 
  • Gail Falkingham for her work with for Yorkshire Gardens Trust on social media, events, and archives and garden history. Gail was nominated by YGT for ‘her effectiveness in realising her outreach vision, leading to step-changes in YGT’s outreach, and creating the foundations for further development.’
  • Roger Last for his work with Norfolk Gardens Trust to produce their book Enticing Paths. Roger was nominated because not only did he work ‘incredibly hard to produce this well-received 480-page hardback book containing over 500 colour images, but he did it during the most challenging of times, under Covid lockdown conditions when archives were shut and travelling to take photos of people’s maps, pictures or documents was very difficult.’
  • Susie Thorne and Sally Twiss for their work with Somerset Gardens Trust to improve its website and social media presence, delivered ‘in the most positive, pleasant and determined way’.
  • The Gardens Trust’s online events team for its work to deliver an extensive online programme during the Covid-19 pandemic and continued today. ‘The result has been the successful  delivery of what has become a much-valued GT service, and in the process has attracted large audiences including many new to the GT.’

Read more about this year’s nominees and the impact they’ve made at the Gardens Trust or County Gardens Trust.

Jeryl Andrew, Devon Gardens Trust

Elizabeth Bowskill, Lincolnshire Gardens Trust

Gail Falkingham, Yorkshire Gardens Trust

Roger Last, Norfolk Gardens Trust

Online Events Team, the Gardens Trust

Sally Twiss & Susie Thorne, Somerset Gardens Trust


Anybody can nominate someone they know for the Award, but candidates must be active volunteers with either a County Gardens Trust or the Gardens Trust. They can be nominated as an individual or as a team.

Candidates will need to be volunteers involved in at least one of the following, in the past 2 years:

  • Making a difference to the day to day running of a County Gardens Trust or the national Gardens Trust
  • The research and conservation aspects of a County Gardens Trust or the national Gardens Trust
  • Work for a County Gardens Trust or the Gardens Trust to reach new audiences to encourage interest and/or involvement in garden history

We are proud that there are many other volunteers, including those who are particularly long-serving, and intend to thank them in other ways. Please email Catherine.ford@thegardenstrust.org if there is someone you would like to highlight.

We will be running the Volunteer Award next year so please keep an eye on the website for the new nomination form.

The 2023 winner will receive a unique framed certificate and glass keepsake, and will be announced at a special event to celebrate volunteers on 7th September.