THE outstanding contribution of volunteers who support MonLife – Monmouthshire County Council’s tourism, leisure, culture and youth services – was celebrated at Caldicot Castle.

MonLife has more than 200 volunteers of all ages who dedicate their time and skills to supporting the county council’s attractions. Ninety of those volunteers attended the event and received certificates to recognise their hard work, dedication and commitment.

Cllr Richard John, cabinet member for MonLife, said: “Volunteering is a rewarding, fun and social way to help our community.

“I sincerely appreciate the tireless energy, time and commitment given by volunteers from across our county, all to improve people’s lives and the communities in which they live.”

At Caldicot Castle, some volunteers were singled out for individual awards.

Chloe Whatley won the Young Person Volunteer Award.

“Chloe is an inspirational young person who has gone over above of what is expected of her – she is constantly helping out and organising more activities for young people to do,” MonLife’s Tracey Thomas said. “She has bags of enthusiasm, confidence and is very inspiring to her fellow leaders.”

Angela Bishop and Sue Hogan were joint winners of the Adult Volunteers Award. They have volunteered with the Countryside Service since 2010.

Ms Thomas said: “They are excellent walk leaders – not only are they knowledgeable, well-prepared and highly capable in all the practical aspects of leading walks, their care and support for people attending the walks is second to none.”

The Monmouthshire Sports Leadership Academies, which work with young people in the county’s secondary schools, won the Group Volunteers Award.

“It is really inspiring to see so many young people want to make a difference in their school and community. Every young leader is enthusiastic, conduct themselves in a professional and appropriate manner and are a huge asset to the school and communities of Monmouthshire,” Ms Thomas said.

Path care Walking Group picked up the Environmental Volunteer Award for their work checking the county’s walking trails.

“The terrain can be rough, muddy or overgrown, and the group has been out in all weather conditions,” Ms Thomas said. “The group remains cheerful whatever the weather.”

The Inspirational Volunteer award was shared by Harry and Eira Steggles, keen walkers who promote and maintain trails.

Ms Thomas said: “Eira and Harry are in their 80s and 90s now and are still volunteering.

“The fact that it’s been a labour of love, and they have got a huge amount of enjoyment from it for many years, shines through and inspires others.”

Bill Duke, a volunteer at Tintern’s Old Station, won the Outstanding Volunteer Award.

“Bill turns up every Wednesday and is always looking for odd jobs he can do around the site to improve the visitor experience,” Ms Thomas said. “Nothing is ever a problem and he is always willing to assist. He really is outstanding in his contribution and commitment, and has never missed a week.”

Catherine Baker won the Above and Beyond Volunteer award.

Mrs Thomas said: "Catherine is an inspirational woman who is a great role model to her two young daughters and the community. She is selfless and gives so much of her own time to make sure her community is thriving."

Also recognised at Caldicot Castle were young people who had achieved 100 and 200 hours certificates as part of the Millennium Volunteers scheme.

To find out more about volunteering with Mon Life, contact Tracey Thomas at or call 07818 016924.