(This Post was written by Susannah Jayes, Picture Editor and writer from London and contributor to my blog.)

As a postscript to my earlier blog, following on from my hugely enjoyable time as a Team London Ambassador during summer 2013,  I volunteered as a host during the Mayor’s Thames Festival, which celebrated the central role that the River Thames has always played in the wealth and prosperity of London, and in November, I was very honoured to be shortlisted for the Mayor’s Special Achievement Award, part of the Team London volunteering Awards 2013. The Awards were a celebration of the many volunteer groups that give up their time and energy in a vast range of worthwhile causes to help other Londoners. Susannah 1

With family and friends, I attended the awards ceremony at City Hall, at which Mayor Boris Johnson presented awards to many deserving volunteers – both individuals and groups. The guest speaker was Martine Wright, who competed in the 2012 Paralympics as the captain of the British sitting volleyball team and is now an ambassador for sport for the disabled. Martine’s speech, in which she described her journey since she lost both legs in the London bombings of 2005, was truly inspiring, and it was very moving that she paid tribute to the volunteers who had helped her along the way.

Certificate SusannahAlthough I didn’t win the award, I received a certificate for exemplary contribution to volunteering, which was much more than I ever expected. However, even more than that, I was truly honoured to hear so many inspiring stories from other volunteer nominees who have given so much time and effort to such fantastic causes in London. I will certainly be back volunteering again in 2014, as it is such a richly rewarding thing to do, and I would heartily recommend to anyone to consider volunteering in any way they can, as it can make such a positive difference to people’s lives.

Susannah Jayes

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