Helpforce Champions

Now is the time to celebrate volunteers in health and social care


Helpforce Champions Awards 2022 is a chance to shine a light on those who give their time to help staff in the NHS and voluntary and community organisations, and support patients and their families and carers.

Nominations have now been closed and you can learn more about the finalists below. Winners will be announced at the ceremony and updated on the website on 7th November.

For this year, all submissions for the awards will still be shared on Helpforce’s Wall of Fame as a way of thanking nominees, sharing their volunteer stories, and inspiring others to volunteer.

Finalists will be invited to a special awards ceremony in London, the Royal Airforce Club, on 4th November.

Award categories

Our Helpforce Champions Awards recognise volunteers in 10 categories. We are especially looking for examples of people trying something new, bringing about positive changes and setting new levels of excellence.

Outstanding Volunteering Team of the Year Team Volunteer

This award recognises excellent teamwork and the combined contribution of three or more volunteers working together. The group will have achieved significant success as a team, whether working on an event, project or service. The group can be volunteers in the NHS or in a community or voluntary setting.

Finalists are:

Volunteer to Career: Volunteer of the Year Young Volunteer

This award recognises the achievement of a volunteer or former volunteer who has gone on to a career in health or care. They might have gone straight into employment or could be studying or training for a job in health or care. The job can be in the NHS or in a voluntary or community organisation. They can be any age. They do not have to be a member of a Helpforce Volunteer to Career programme.

Finalists are:

Outstanding Staff Champion for Volunteers Staff Champion

This award goes to a supportive member of health and care staff (outside of volunteer management) who has championed and embraced volunteers, and gone the extra mile to recognise the positive impact volunteers can make. This could be a nurse, health visitor, physio, healthcare assistant, or any colleague who has made a special effort to welcome and support volunteers.

Finalists are:

Volunteer Manager of the Year Volunteer Leader

This award recognises the commitment and dedication of an outstanding health and care staff member who manages volunteers, or has a core responsibility for managing or coordinating volunteering in the health and care sector. We want to see examples of leaders who have improved the way volunteers support staff, patients, and the volunteers themselves using innovation and bringing about transformation. This award is open to volunteer managers within the NHS and in voluntary and community organisations. The nominee does not have to have the job title of volunteer manager, as long as they manage volunteer as part of their job.

Finalists are:

Health Leader Champion for Volunteering Partnership Working

This award recognises a senior leader in health and care who has championed volunteering in the NHS or a voluntary or community organisation. This could be a Chief Executive, Director, Head of Department or policy maker who has enabled a volunteer service to thrive and develop, or lobbied on behalf of volunteers at a senior level.

Finalists are:

Breaking Down Barriers Award Innovation

Building on the progress made since the Covid-19 outbreak, this award recognises examples of volunteering that are working across organisational and sector boundaries. For example, volunteers operating across the community to support integrated care, or partnerships operating between NHS, voluntary & community sector, and local government.

Finalists are:

Volunteer of the Year: Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales (4 categories) Volunteer Of The Year

This award celebrates four individuals who have gone above and beyond expectations in their volunteering role during the year, and made a noticeable impact on the experience of staff, patients and their local community. We will be choosing one winner from each of the UK nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Finalists are:



Northern Ireland:




Emma Easton

NHS England’s Deputy Director, Voluntary Partnerships

“I am really excited to be a judge for the Helpforce Champions Awards this year. Every day in my job I hear amazing stories about the ways in which volunteers have made a difference and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of recognising volunteers not only for the gift of their time but for the way in which they bring compassion and kindness to patients and staff.

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Karen Bonner


I am proud to be judging the 2022 Helpforce Champions Awards and I am looking forward to celebrating the huge contribution made by our volunteers in supporting the NHS in its response to the greatest challenge in its 74 year history.

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Mark Lever

Helpforce Chief Executive
I am delighted to be part of this year's judging panel and I am so pleased that we are able to celebrate the incredible commitment of the nation's volunteers. I am really excited that we are going to be able to showcase the tremendous difference volunteers have made to the health and care of the nation.

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Sammy McKee

Volunteer of the Year 2021
I am excited to be on the panel for this year’s Helpforce Awards. I am looking forward to seeing individuals whose action doesn’t just support the NHS but the wider society. I know there are many people who are doing powerful things in their individual communities and it is important they are recognised and can see their power in the bigger picture.

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Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett

Helpforce chairman
The past year has been an incredibly difficult year for our health and social care system. But with the support of thousands of volunteers, the NHS has been able to save many lives and continues to provide the best possible care to those that need it. I look forward to seeing wonderful examples of how volunteers have made a difference to patients, their family, and staff.

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Helen Gilburt

Fellow in the Policy Team at The King’s Fund

As a policy researcher, I’m often focused on the roles that volunteers play and the infrastructure of support for volunteers. Being a judge on the Helpforce Champion Awards is an opportunity to hear from volunteers themselves and is great reminder of the potential of volunteering and it’s contribution within local communities. When you think of volunteers in the NHS it can be easy to focus on those that are most visible or patient facing, but it’s the consistent commitment of volunteers and impact they have that’s really important for me.

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Shirley Baines

Chief Executive, Burdett Trust for Nursing

Shirley has over thirty years’ experience in corporate, private and charitable trust work.

She began working for the Burdett Trust for Nursing in 2003, becoming its chief executive in 2008. During this time, she has been responsible for developing its strategic policies, managing its financial systems, procedures and budgetary control, grant-giving, accounting and risk mapping.


Dr Yasmin Razak

GP & Education Lead West London

Yasmin runs an award winning training practice in West London and has been Clinical Director for Neo-health PCN during Covid, supporting volunteers to both contribute and develop their individual skill sets to help us deliver the best care for our patients.

Volunteering & the NHS go hand in hand, with the same ethos and values, and she is proud to be on the panel to help judge from the excellent entries for this years Helpforce Champions Awards.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this possible

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