Sudbury teenager wins Bavington volunteering award

Sophie Bavington Award Winner Charlotte Willer with Tony Bavington. ANL-160914-120848001
Sophie Bavington Award Winner Charlotte Willer with Tony Bavington. ANL-160914-120848001

A Sudbury teenager has won the annual Sophie Bavington Award, which recognises an exceptional young volunteer in the county.

Charlotte Willer, 19, from Sudbury, was chosen for the the Sophie Bavington Award, given to a volunteer under the age of 25, who has made an outstanding contribution to the community and vulnerable people.

The Sophie Bavington Young Volunteer of the Year Awards. Back Row from left: Charlotte Willer, Jade McDonald, Feven Habtezghi, Tony Bavington, Jade Starling, Emma Wellesley-Welsley , Lana Korabik

Front Row - Oscar Fellowes, Adam Cotter, Will Ginno. ANL-160914-120833001

The Sophie Bavington Young Volunteer of the Year Awards. Back Row from left: Charlotte Willer, Jade McDonald, Feven Habtezghi, Tony Bavington, Jade Starling, Emma Wellesley-Welsley , Lana Korabik Front Row - Oscar Fellowes, Adam Cotter, Will Ginno. ANL-160914-120833001

The award is named in memory of Sophie, who enjoyed volunteering at the Befriending Scheme in Sudbury and working with vulnerable people.

Sophie’s father, Tony Bavington, presented the award while Sue Ayres, Sudbury’s mayor, made a stirring speech on the importance of young people volunteering in today’s society.

This year saw eight nominees from around the county, all of whom made a massive contribution to their local communities through their volunteering.

Charlotte volunteered at the scheme’s Sudbury Hub, organised her own fundraising events and helped vulnerable people reduce their energy consumption as part of the Suffolk Switched On project.

Mr Bavington praised the contribution of all the nominees, but felt that Charlotte’s unwavering support, dedication and enthusiasm had been particularly inspirational.

“We were struck by the huge amount of personal development Charlotte has undergone herself since she began befriending over a year ago. 

“She has shown real courage and wholehearted commitment to those she has supported, as well as imagination, organisation and human sympathy.” 

Feven Habtetzghi of Sudbury and Jade Starling of Bury St Edmunds were awarded special merit awards for their contribution to helping the Befriending Scheme’s members and projects throughout the year.