Inspirational Volunteer of the Year announced for 2021

Sam Horton has been named Inspirational Volunteer of the Year as part of Cheshire West Voluntary Action’s (CWVA) Volunteer Awards, recognising the support she’s provided for survivors of sexual violence.

Volunteer Awards is a way of celebrating all the fantastic work volunteers do in their communities and winners will be announced over the coming weeks ahead of Christmas, with Inspirational Volunteer of the Year given to someone who has done something particularly special as a volunteer.

Sam volunteers as a Counsellor at Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service (CSASS), supporting survivors of sexual violence.

Despite having to shield very strictly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam has continued to support her clients consistently and this regular, knowledgeable and skilled care has helped survivors cope while trapped in unsafe or unhealthy situations in lockdown.

Sam has helped build their mental health and strength, address the effects of trauma and take steps to create the healthier life they deserve.

She was also instrumental setting up and leading the weekly online support group CSASS has run since 2020, seen as a lifeline by survivors who attend.

The list of achievements doesn’t end there as Sam has organised monthly walk and talk groups for survivors, bringing joy and building confidence by getting into nature as restrictions have lifted.

The person who nominated Sam said: “She has shown extraordinary resilience and determination during the last year and brought great compassion, flexibility and professionalism to her role.

“Sam was determined to offer the face-to-face support so many survivors needed desperately and got vaccinated as soon as frontline volunteers in Chester were offered the jab, allowing her to leave the house to help run support sessions.

“Sam recently secured full-time, paid work as a Counsellor and we couldn’t be more delighted for her and the people she will be supporting there too. 

“She is an inspiration to us all and we love that she has been recognised for the difference she has made to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Everyone at CWVA would like to congratulate Sam on being named Inspirational Volunteer of the Year.

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