Kettering schoolgirl Nuala named volunteer of the year for food bank work

She volunteers at Kettering Food Bank at weekends and during the school holidays

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 15th October 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 8:18 am

A Kettering teenager who volunteers at a town food bank has scooped a top prize in a new awards scheme to recognise the contribution by young people to their communities.

Nuala Stone from Kettering beat other nominees in the first-ever Young Co-operator Awards to be named Young Volunteer of the Year in the scheme organised by Central England Co-op.

The 17-year-old was honoured alongside nine other young people from 16 English counties in the awards that recognised those who have gone above and beyond for their local community during the last year.

Nuala Stone

Nuala's Young Volunteer of the Year award recognises 'a dedicated young volunteer who has shown outstanding commitment to their local community and contributed energy, skills and time'.

Her mum Jane said: “Ever since I became a trustee at Kettering Food Bank, Nuala has helped to grow the food bank to what it is today. She began to learn how to make up food parcels and sort through donations and she would come to help us whenever she could at weekends and during school holidays.

"She doesn’t let her commitment to the food bank affect her school work and she has organised fundraisers and food drives within her sixth form in order to raise awareness.

"Nuala is a credit to Kettering Food Bank and she is definitely worthy of the Young Volunteer of the Year Award.”

The Co-op spent all summer searching for the best of the best across ten categories who excelled in everything from caring for others to reducing the impact on the local environment.

Amazing young people who have gone above and beyond for their local community during the last year have scooped a wide range of honours at the first ever Young Co-operator Awards.

We were inundated with hundreds of entries from across our trading estate of young people aged from zero to 17 who have all been a credit to their communities during the past 12 months.

Winners will now become ambassadors who can work with the Co-op on new community projects and products as well as receiving a trophy and an array of prizes and vouchers as a reward for their efforts.

Hannah Gallimore, corporate responsibility manager, said: “We wanted to boost the reputation of Co-ops with a younger, switched on audience and make the idea of our ethics and business model relevant and authentic for young people starting out in life, so they may choose to set up their own co-operatives or social enterprises in the future.

“Co-operation is a way of working and living which sees members have a real stake in their communities, through participation in local events and the distribution of profits back to where they were generated. We feel it’s a model which is particularly relevant now, as the value of sustainable communities to people’s lives has become so clear.

“We have been amazed by the achievements of young people across all the categories and delighted to see how they have been putting co-operation into action in their local communities.

“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who entered and a massive well done to the winners who have gone above and beyond for their communities during the past year.”

The winners will all receive a trophy and prizes from a range that includes a scooter, tablet, earphones, digital voucher (for the likes of iTunes, Waterstones or Netflix), outdoor games and arts and crafts equipment, as well as a host of Co-op food hampers or vouchers.