Re-Cycle Centre’s award- winning volunteer!
Published Wednesday 13th June 12 in Council - news and information releases news
A skilful volunteer bike mechanic who has helped restore hundreds of neglected cycles and trained others to do likewise, has won a major title.
Paul Kerry, 65, of Eastwood has just been named Southend's Environmental Volunteer of the Year in the awards scheme run by Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS).
He has been a tireless volunteer at the Re-Cycle Centre at 2 Brunel Road, off Progress Road, Leigh SS9 5JL for more than two years.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, Councillor Tony Cox said: "Congratulations to Paul for this magnificent and very well-deserved achievement.
"His indefatigable assistance has helped this important community resource to thrive and to benefit the borough in countless ways.
"Since it began three years ago, the Re-Cycle Centre has restored and sold at low cost, more than 1,200 previously unusable or abandoned bikes.
"This means bikes have been re-routed from the scrap heap and cycling has become more affordable for more people.
"In addition, three Re-Cycle Centre volunteers have now gained paid employment in the cycling industry.
"Paul's regular presence at the centre is vital for the continuity of repairs being carried out.
"He has a wealth of information on each bike assembled, such as who carried out the work and what parts may be required to overcome any problems.
"His knowledge of bicycle maintenance is so extensive, that the trained mechanics at the centre will often ask his advice and he is always available to lend a hand.
"He also enjoys helping to train the new volunteers and has no hesitation in getting to know them and ensuring they return time and again."
Re-Cycle Centre manager Richard Twomey added: "Paul's other major contribution is that he makes the Re-Cycle Centre a project that people want to be a part of, whether it's through buying or donating a bike or volunteering their time and becoming part of the team.
"His warmth and dependable humour make even the coldest winter shifts enjoyable.
"Without Paul volunteering his time, the Re-Cycle Centre would be a lesser project in all ways."
Paul said: "I was very excited and very surprised to win this award. It was a great thrill.
"I was very keen to find out about the Re-Cycle Centre when it first began, so I went to an open day. I filled in a form and it started from there.
"I've always been interested in cycling and have always mended my own bikes. Because I'm retired now, I've got the time to be there most days.
"I'd thoroughly recommend volunteering - anything to get out there and keep active. Otherwise, what do you do when it's raining! I've met lots of people through the Re-Cycle Centre, it's a real hub."
Contact the Re-Cycle Centre on 07824 301609 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cycle Southend volunteers Tracy Fellowes and Pat Denton also earned special mentions within the sport category of the awards.
The annual SAVS Volunteer Awards recognised the selfless contribution of many Individuals within the community.
There were more than 90 nominations for awards and more than 200 people attended the presentation ceremony.