Youngster wins award for her work with North West Kent Countryside Partnership
Fields in Trust Young Champion Award supported by environmental volunteering charity Groundwork
Kent youngster Toni Dixon has been recognised at the Fields in Trust Awards for her conservation work across the county. The volunteer was named Fields in Trust Young Champion supported by Groundwork at a ceremony at Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
The Young Champion Award celebrates the efforts of young people aged 16 to 24 who go the extra mile to champion their local green spaces through encouraging others to get involved and enhancing the spaces for users.
Toni was nominated for the Award following her time spent volunteering with North West Kent Countryside Partnership. She started with the organisation three years ago and has helped with practical volunteering tasks including creating ponds and wildlife areas in schools, chalk grassland maintenance, woodland coppicing and chalk river enhancements. During her time volunteering Toni has also been involved with the Partnership's educational work, developed her surveying skills and supported volunteers with additional needs at an allotment programme.
Toni was nominated for the Fields in Trust Young Champion Award by the North West Kent Countryside Partnership, who praised her capability and initiative describing her as "a valuable asset to the countryside sector".
Speaking after receiving her Award at the Ceremony at Lord's Cricket Ground, Toni Dixon said: "I am so overwhelmed, delighted and thankful to Fields in Trust to accept the Young Champion Award 2016."
Groundwork UK Director of Partnerships and Programmes, Sarah Reece-Mills said: "I was absolutely delighted to present the Fields in Trust Young Champion Award to Toni. The hard work and dedication she displayed towards volunteering to make a difference in her community is nothing short of inspirational. Its young people like Toni who are the green space heroes of the future, and it's right that we celebrate their enthusiasm and passion to create better, greener places for their local community."
Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: "The work of Toni, and the hundreds more young people like her across the county, is vital to ensuring local green spaces remain true community assets. The Fields in Trust Awards help recognise the role that parks and other green spaces play in our communities, bringing people together and creating a safe outdoor environment that everyone should have access to no matter where they live. We believe that as a nation it is time to revalue these green spaces and consider the positive impact they have on our physical, mental and social health and well being and the savings to the public purse they represent in terms of preventative medicine.
"Thank you to Groundwork for their support of this Award. Congratulations to Toni on her well deserved award and for being such an inspiring example to other young people."
Also shortlisted for the Fields in Trust Young Champion Award supported by Groundwork were Groundwork East volunteer Harry Johnson and Swansea Sport & Health Team member Adam Thomas.
Fields in Trust Young Champion supported by Groundwork was one of ten Awards given out at the Awards Ceremony. Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire was named UK's Best Park, as voted by YOU! 2016 following a public vote which saw over 10,000 votes cast for more than 200 local green spaces nominated by their users. Other Awards included Best Athletics Project on a Fields in Trust Site, supported by England Athletics and parkrun, Fields in Trust Community Champion and Most Improved Fields in Trust Site.
For media enquiries, please contact Richard McKeever, Fields in Trust Communications Manager,
t: 0207 427 2117, m: 07940 072832
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Fields in Trust Young Champion Award was open to any individual who has worked to make a difference and engage people on a local green space.
- The Award was supported by national environmental volunteering charity Groundwork which works to create a future where everywhere is vibrant and green, every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny and where everyone can reach their potential.
- The Fields in Trust Awards Ceremony took place on the evening of Wednesday 30th November at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. The evening was hosted by BBC broadcaster Jill Douglas.
- Fields in Trust protect over 2,600 sites across the UK, covering over 30,000 acres.
ABOUT FIELDS IN TRUST
Fields in Trust is a national charity that operates throughout the UK to safeguard recreational spaces and campaign for better statutory protection for all kinds of outdoor sites.
Founded in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association by King George V, their mission is the same now and as it was then: to ensure that everyone - young or old, able-bodied or disabled and wherever they live - should have access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation. These spaces are vital to building happy and healthy communities and sadly continue to be threatened by all kinds of development.
Groundwork is the community charity with a green heart.
- We want places to look better, streets to be safer and outside areas to be green and beautiful.
- We want people of all ages to be able to do stuff together to make the best of where they live.
- We want to improve job prospects by offering training and employment opportunities.
- We want to show people how they can make their homes and workplaces better for the environment and cheaper to run.