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Angling Trust celebrates Volunteers' Week with Excellence Awards to 23 volunteers

29.05.18

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Volunteer bailiff Steve Halford has received an excellence award

The Angling Trust is celebrating this year’s Volunteers’ Week (June 1st-7th) by presenting Volunteering Excellence Awards to 23 volunteers in recognition of their fantastic contribution to our work.

The volunteers, all members of the Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS) or angling coaches, have been nominated because of their commitment to protecting fisheries or promoting fishing to new anglers.

Among the award winners is volunteer bailiff Roy Bridson who reports daily from the Peterborough area to assist the Environment Agency in their fisheries enforcement role – despite receiving treatment for cancer. Roy has made numerous reports to the police, Environment Agency, parish council and Canal & Rivers Trust on a variety of incidents from children playing at the lock near his home to illegal angling.

Volunteer bailiff Phil Hoult, from Exeter in Devon, actively patrols the mixed fishery of the River Exe reporting incidents and has been described by the local Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer as a “godsend”. He also helped promote the VBS to the Exeter & District Angling Association and has now become their club bailiff.

Licensed angling coach Richard Hawkes was instrumental in setting up Corby Junior Fishing Club and regularly runs taster and coaching sessions on the Boat Lake in the centre of the town. To date he has introduced more than 200 youngsters to angling.

Roly Palmer has worked tirelessly over the past 15 years for Exeter & District Angling Association and has built up a very good reputation as a level 2 coach in the area. He works with hundreds of juniors and adults each year and has proven that by running regular family friendly coaching events you can swell numbers joining the club – the junior membership has risen to over 100 in the last couple of years.

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Licenced angling coach Roly Palmer has received an Excellence Award

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said: “Volunteers play a vital role in the work of the Angling Trust giving up many hours of precious time to benefit angling and society in general. It is only fitting that we celebrate their contribution during National Volunteers Week and present our Volunteering Excellence Awards to those who have shown outstanding commitment.

“Our Voluntary Bailiff Service goes from strength-to-strength with nearly 500 professionally trained members regularly patrolling at the water’s edge and supporting the Environment Agency and police in protecting fisheries. Similarly, volunteers supporting our participation team have helped organise events or assisted with coaching to provide opportunities for thousands of youngsters to try fishing and explore the great outdoors.

“Thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time, knowledge and skills to the Angling Trust over the years and congratulations to our latest award winners. Your effort and commitment are very much appreciated.”

Full list of Angling Trust Volunteering Excellence Award winners by region:

North West

Mark Davenport, Warrington, Cheshire
Mark joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in September 2016 and has been an active member of the Cheshire group since then. He initially combined this with a full-time role as a serving Police Inspector with Greater Manchester Police but since his retirement a year ago, Mark has become even more active and is now Area Coordinator for North Cheshire. A committee member of Lymm Angling Club, Mark’s demeanour and communication skills are first class and he recently helped the Building Bridges team organise a multi-cultural fishing contest on the Bridgewater Canal in Runcorn, which proved a great success.

Paul Higson, Bury, Manchester
When Paul joined the VBS in May 2017 he was already a very active member of Little Britain Anglers, a Bury-based club which runs several recovering industrial river and canal sections. Without doubt, these suffer the worst crime, pollution and anti-social behaviour in the whole of the North West. Paul was appointed North Manchester Area Coordinator and in six months has doubled the number of reports from volunteer bailiffs in the area, some excellent intelligence for police and fisheries enforcement officers. Paul is also a volunteer at a local bird sanctuary and recently featured in the local paper for helping to rescue a swan.

North East

Adi Austin, Middlesbrough, Cleveland
Adi has excelled as a volunteer bailiff and has shown dedication to the areas of Northumberland that he covers, promptly recording and reporting matters which is a credit to himself, the Voluntary Bailiff Service and Angling Trust.

Neil Heath and Steve Withy, Hartlepool, Cleveland
Neil and Steve patrol areas of County Durham together and report daily on their patrols, providing a great reassurance to club members. Again, a credit to themselves, the club they represent, the VBS and the Angling Trust.

Chas White, Stockton on Tees, Cleveland
Chas is a model volunteer bailiff and huge supporter of the aims of the Angling Trust. He has reported many matters and is now volunteer Area Coordinator for the Cleveland Area. Chas also actively promotes the work of the VBS and the Trust to the clubs and syndicates he belongs to and fully deserves the award.

Lee Headings, Middlesbrough, Cleveland
Lee has excelled as a volunteer bailiff and patrols many areas of Cleveland. He is a huge supporter of the VBS and the Trust and is a credit to the club and syndicate he represents.

Steve Calpin, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Steve is a key volunteer bailiff who excels in his role, often patrolling alone near Scarborough. He now organises joint patrols with Scalby Beck Angling Club and has helped to change attitudes towards reporting matters and multi-agency working.

Steve Allen, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Steve is a key volunteer bailiff in South Yorkshire and is also a volunteer for the Canal & Rivers Trust. He fully supports the work of the VBS and the Angling Trust and is always involved when joint patrols with the police and Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officers are planned for the South Yorkshire area. Steve has also been appointed volunteer Area Coordinator for South Yorkshire.

Midlands

Steve Halford, Leicester, Leicestershire
Steve has been instrumental in educating local angling clubs in the area around enforcement and he has improved the signage on rivers and lakes across the county by providing or arranging production of ‘Operation Traverse’ and multi-lingual signage to fisheries. He has attended multi-agency fisheries patrols, works closely with the Environment Agency and police and contributes positively to VBS training days and Angling Trust forums in the Midlands. Without any prompting, we have received two independent letters of praise from angling clubs in Leicestershire, commending Steve and thanking Angling Trust for providing such a good service to them through his work in VBS. Steve is soon to become a Deputy Area Coordinator for VBS in the East Midlands.

Eastern

Roy Bridson, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire
Roy has been a regular VBS patroller since his induction, putting in daily reports, often twice daily, to assist the Environment Agency in their statutory fisheries enforcement role. Roy has made numerous reports to the police, the EA, his local parish council, the Middle Level Commissionaires, the local schools and the Canal and River Trust regarding a variety of incidents from school children playing in the lock near his home through to illegal angling. All of this has been carried out while Roy has been suffering with and receiving treatment for cancer.

Richard Hawkes, Corby Junior Fishing Club, Northants
Licenced Level 2 angling Coach Richard has been instrumental in establishing Corby Junior Fishing Club. Having noticed an interest from local young people to get into fishing, Richard set about running regular taster and coaching sessions based at the boating lake in the centre of Corby. Working in partnership with Corby Borough Council, the Junior Club have engaged over 200 young people in angling. Since it was established the club have been awarded Community Club of the Year award at the Corby Sports Awards.

Michael Dimmock, Northampton Nene Angling Club, Northants
Michael is a Licenced Level 2 Angling Coach, committed to getting more young people into angling and is a key part of the Northamptonshire Angling Action Group. Michael supports many events across the county and is always on hand to support other clubs and partners with their angling participation events. As head bailiff of Northampton Nene Angling Club he has engaged local schools and successfully delivered a number of coaching programmes to them.

Seumas Halliday, Mid Northants Trout Fishers Association
Seumas is a Licenced Level 2 Angling Coach who has played a vital role in increasing membership levels with Mid Northants Trout Fishers Association. Working in partnership with Anglian Water, Seumas coordinates the club’s monthly free fly fishing coaching sessions on the banks of Pitsford Water. Seumas also supports the Northamptonshire Angling Action Group and runs events to give non-anglers the chance to get into fly fishing

South West

Chris Palmer, Yate, South Gloucestershire
Chris has been an enthusiastic member of the Voluntary Bailiff Service since the Spring of 2016, reporting on patrols around the Brimsham Lake and local rivers around the north side of Bristol. He has become known to local anglers and has worked with them to improve the quality of the local environment for the benefit of anglers and the local community. As one of the first volunteer bailiffs in the area, he has helped at inductions of other volunteers.

Ron Thomas, Bristol, Avon
Ron joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in Spring 2017 and regularly patrols, making several excellent intelligence reports. He actively promotes and support all that the Angling Trust is trying to achieve to local anglers and brings great credit on himself.

Phil Hoult, Exeter, Devon
Phil joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in Autumn 2016 and actively patrols the mixed fishery of the River Exe around Exeter. He has helped promote the VBS with the Exeter & District Angling Association and has become a club bailiff. Phil is regularly reporting patrols and incidents and has been described by the local Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer as a ‘godsend’ and everything that a volunteer bailiff should be.

Stu Hitchman, Corfe Mullen, Dorset
Since becoming a volunteer bailiff in Autumn 2016, Stu has actively patrolled local rivers and other waters for his club and encouraged other anglers to become involved with the VBS. He has also enthusiastically supported other clubs wanting to become involved with the VBS reflecting an excellent image of what the service is all about – supporting the Environment Agency and police to tackle illegal fishing and fisheries-related crime.

David Williams, Bournemouth, Devon
David has been a volunteer bailiff since Autumn 2016 and is currently the most active and diligent reporter of patrols, submitting intelligent information where he has witnessed illegal activity.

Frank Hall, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Frank patrols regularly since he became a volunteer bailiff in Spring 2017, making excellent reports and witnessing incidents that have highlighted illegal fishing. He takes proactive measures installing signs and promoting the VBS on local rivers to other anglers, and has provided excellent support at Angling Trust forums and fisheries enforcement workshops.

Roly Palmer, Level 2 coach based in Exeter, Devon
Roly has worked tirelessly over the past 15 years for Exeter & District Angling Association and has built up a very good reputation as a Level 2 coach in the area. He works with hundreds of juniors and adults each year and has proven that by running regular family friendly coaching events you can swell numbers joining the club – junior membership has risen to over 100 in the last couple of years. Roly also attends every Angling Trust SW forum and continually promotes the positives of working with the Angling Trust to improve membership, access to funding and promotion of activities.

South East

David Pennington, Hove, East Sussex
David joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in July 2014 and took over the role of Area Coordinator for the South Downs region in 2017. David is always enthusiastic and committed and is very supportive of the Angling Trust in his role as permit secretary for the Sussex-based Ouse Angling Preservation Society and at regional events and training days. He makes good use of the VBS web site in reporting patrols and activity on the Sussex Ouse and its tributaries and getting the right messages across to members and to other local clubs

Bogdan ‘George’ Pascaru, London
George joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in October 2016 and took over the role of Area Coordinator for the Kent and South London region in 2017. George has been very active in supporting VBS activity both in his area and attending patrols and training events in other regions. He is an excellent ambassador for the VBS and for the Angling Trust and communicates regularly with Environment Agency partners and the Building Bridges team in relation to the multi-cultural fishing events that he organises within his personal time. He has also communicated the importance of the VBS to his Romanian fishing colleagues and the wider angling community which has resulted in many people wanting to join the ranks of the VBS.

Useful links:

Volunteers’ Week 2018 takes place from June 1st-7th. More information here

The Voluntary Bailiff Service operates in partnership with the Environment Agency and is funded from fishing licence income. More information here

The Angling Trust uses funding from the Environment Agency and Sport England to organise and run events to introduce people to fishing through its Get Fishing programme. More information here

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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