From bus driving, to lifesaving, horse-riding and dancing the Central Coast volunteers are covering all bases for their local community in 2021. Today we celebrated these volunteers of all ages at the at the 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards Central Coast regional ceremony.

Special congratulations to our award winners; Jade Cook and the Ed Team at Shelly Beach Surf Club; Riding with the Disabled lynchpin Jennifer Cameron; Davistown RSL dancer with the stars Ben Bradley and the inexhaustible Michael Kay who has driven thousands of kilometres a year for the students of the Jilliby Valley.

Michael Kay is the 2021 Central Coast Volunteer of the Year.

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Michael Kay from Jilliby

Michael is a volunteer at the Jilliby Public School P&C and took on the challenge of organising transport for students at the school to help them participate in all sorts or sporting, community, and cultural activities. He single-handedly raised funds for the bus, bought it from Queensland and fitted it out. He now drives the bus, helping to subsidise the cost for students to attend events, where they had previously been unable to attend. The bus also helps other small mountain and valley schools, such as Peats Ridge and Wyong Creek.

Young Volunteer of the Year – Jade Crook from Shelly Beach

Jade, 17, joined Shelly Beach Surf Club as an Under 8 nipper and is now Under 14s Age Manager and was Junior Club Captain in 2020-21. She was 2017-18 Central Coast Lifesaver of the Year. She has completed 57 volunteer patrol hours and 50 hours of volunteer work for the club.

Club Volunteer of the Year – Ben Bradley from Davistown RSL

Davistown RSL Club Manager, Ben, took part in this year’s Central Coast Cancer Council’s Dancing with the Stars, personally raising $33,000 for support services for cancer patients and their families. Ben trained for over 10 weeks for the local version of the well-known event and has previously supported community groups such as the executive sleep out for Coast Shelter Central Coast.

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Jennifer Cameron from Erina

Jennifer has volunteered for Riding for the Disabled for 25 years as coach, regional representative and auditor and Vice President of the RDA centre at Somersby. She goes above and beyond to support riders, care for horses and keeps the centre beautifully maintained.

Volunteer Team of the Year – Shelly Beach Surf Ed Team

The group has grown from a one-person surf education team to a 10 person team in five years. Their mission is to ensure local patrols are “rescue ready” for summer, in the water and on the sand.

Regional finalists for the awards are announced at 25 ceremonies throughout NSW and are invited to the Gala State Ceremony for the announcement of the 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year.

The 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.