Dominic Pearce who volunteers weekly at Eastleigh Borough Council’s Friday Night Football project at Botley Recreation Ground has won Community Volunteer of the Year at the annual SAFER awards.
Hosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, the SAFER awards celebrate the vital role volunteers play throughout Hampshire and the outstanding contribution, dedication and commitment they have shown.
Dominic, aged 20, has been attending Friday Night Football as a participant since he was 14. The project coordinated by Eastleigh Borough Council, is open to 10 – 19 year olds, and provides a fun sociable and affordable way for people to get active and it also helps to tackle anti-social behaviour.
When Dominic turned 20 he was keen to stay involved in the project as it had awakened his passion for coaching who, and with funding from Eastleigh Borough Council and the Hampshire FA, Dominic completed a Level 1 FA qualification. He has now delivered over 110 hours of volunteering to the project and is dedicated, professional and a great role model to young people.
Cabinet Lead for Health Cllr Tonia Craig said, “It’s great that Dominic had won this award after all his hard work and dedication to this project. He has also encouraged other young people from the project to volunteer, raising aspirations and ambitions in young people.”
She added, “Dominic’s volunteering demonstrates that Friday Night Football is more than just about participation but also a platform to help young people develop leadership and life skills.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane said: “It is important that we take the time to recognise and thank volunteers for their contribution and commitment to building resilient communities. More than ever before we are relying on communities to play an active and prominent role in keeping themselves SAFER, and to work in true partnership with public, private and third sector organisations. Volunteers really matter, they help us to connect with the community, and the value that they add to the work of the Constabulary and partners is enormous. Without them we would not be able to deliver all that we do to keep our communities safer.”
Photo: Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane with Dominic Pearce.