Jess, who has used the sad passing of her brother to help local charity SPACE and the children with additional needs it supports, has been named Younger Volunteer of the Year as part of Volunteer Awards Month.
December is Volunteer Awards Month to round off the Year of Volunteering campaign, which is run jointly by Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) and Cheshire West and Chester Council to celebrate all the great work volunteers do in their communities.
SPACE was founded in 2014 by a group of parents who have children with additional needs to create more opportunities for them to access play resources and support locally.
Jess started her journey with SPACE around five years ago as her brother had additional needs and accessed the services. He sadly passed away in 2019 and it has motivated Jess to support other children like her brother, with SPACE reminding her of all the fun times she spent with him.
Jemma Gregory, who nominated Jess, said: “She’s become a valuable part of the team and, when she’s not there, both children and parents ask where she is straightaway.
“During lockdown, the centre was closed, but Jess was keen to continue her involvement and recorded herself reading stories for us to include as part of our online activities. She also helped us deliver sensory packs to children’s homes.
“Jess loves giving up her time as it always makes her feel happy when she can see others having fun.
“Not only does she have empathy with children from her own experience, but she also has the ability to talk to children who may feel anxious and nervous about coming to SPACE, making them feel relaxed and at ease.
“I know this award will mean so much to Jess as she hasn’t had the easiest of years.”