Angling Trust celebrates Volunteers’ Week with Excellence Awards to 18 volunteers

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The Angling Trust | NEWS

Keith Allsopp with David Lees x550px

Volunteer bailiff Keith Allsopp (right) receiving his award from David Lees, Regional Enforcement Manager for the North West

The Angling Trust is celebrating this year’s Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) by presenting Volunteering Excellence Awards to 18 volunteers in recognition of their fantastic contribution to our work.

The volunteers have shown outstanding commitment as members of the Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS), assisting at participation events or playing important roles in our national and international fishing competitions.

Among the award winners is volunteer bailiff Wayne Thomas, from North Manchester, who has never let his disability – he is profoundly deaf – prevent him from playing an active role in safeguarding fish and fishing. Wayne is an active member of Little Britain Anglers, a Bury-based club which manages several recovering sections of industrial rivers and canals, and regularly patrols these stretches which suffer some of the worst crime, pollution and anti-social behaviour issues in the North West region.

Another of our recipients is Mark Thorneycroft-Gibb, a retired teacher who assists at many ‘Get Fishing’ events and is passionate about recruiting people into angling. Mark often manages the busy registration desk, always providing a welcome smile and professional reception.

Match angler and Angling Trust Ambassador Dave Harrell is also one of our winners. Dave’s hard work and commitment has turned the RiverFest competition into the biggest river match angling competition in the country.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, said:

“Thousands of volunteers play a vital role in the work of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, giving up many hours of their precious time to protect fish and fishing for the benefit of everyone else. It is only fitting that we celebrate their huge collective contribution during National Volunteers Week. These latest recipients of our Volunteering Excellence Awards have shown outstanding commitment in helping to protect fisheries, running participation events and assisting our competitions. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time, knowledge and skills to the Angling Trust and Fish Legal over the past 10 years and many congratulations to our latest award winners. Your commitment is very much appreciated.”

Volunteers’ Week 2018 takes place from June 1st - 7th.

Receiving Volunteering Excellence Awards from the Voluntary Bailiff Service are:

Andy Maskery, Deputy Area Coordinator, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Andy has been a committed volunteer since he was inducted into the VBS in February 2016. The expression ‘actions speak louder than words’ aptly sums up Andy’s approach as he tirelessly promotes and supports VBS and the Angling Trust through his Fenton and District Angling Club work. Whether through angling shows, local club meetings, fishery visits or his involvement in organising joint patrols with the police and Environment Agency in North Staffordshire, Andy will use the opportunity to spread the word about the Fisheries Enforcement Campaign, directly raising awareness and confidence amongst anglers to report incidents, share information and to support fisheries enforcement in the area. Andy is a fine ambassador, not only for the VBS and the Angling Trust, but for angling in general.

Chris Thirtle, Area Coordinator, Derbyshire

Since joining the VBS in February 2016, Chris, a retired RAF officer and fighter pilot, has shown he possesses great leadership skills which he uses to great effect to coordinate and communicate clearly in his role as Area Coordinator for the East Midlands. He has forged close links with police and the Environment Agency through trust and mutual respect and has invited them to visit many North Derbyshire fisheries and meet their owners. Chris was instrumental in gaining an introduction to the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner which resulted in Derbyshire Constabulary signing up to Operation Traverse, the multi-agency initiative tackling illegal fishing and fish theft. Chris attends Angling Trust forums, supports VBS training whenever possible and is a regular user of the VBS website, submitting comprehensive patrol and incident logs demonstrating his eye for detail and evidence. In turn, this encourages his team members to follow his example. He has also shown further initiative by working closely with the Environment Agency to map out river sections where VBS can prioritise in their role as ‘eyes and ears’ for routine patrols.

Wayne Thomas, Volunteer Bailiff, North Manchester

When Wayne joined the VBS in 2016 he was already an active member of Little Britain Anglers, a Bury-based club which manages several recovering sections of industrial rivers and canals. He regularly patrols these stretches which suffer some of the worst crime, pollution and anti-social behaviour issues in the North West region. Wayne also attends working parties to improve the environment for all, not just anglers, and always attends group and joint patrols with the Environment Agency or police. Wayne works hard to improve his angling knowledge and skills and recently passed his Level 2 Coaching qualification, along with Safeguarding and First Aid training. Wayne has achieved all of this whilst managing to overcome a serious disability: he is profoundly deaf.

Keith Allsopp, Area Coordinator, South Lancashire & Ribble

Keith has been an active member of VBS since 2016 and will always assist at training events and group or joint patrols. He visits fishing tackle shops and commercial fisheries in his area to promote the good work of the VBS and the Angling Trust, and this year helped to run a display at the Northern Angling Show where he did a fantastic job in engaging with different types and ages of anglers. A keen angler and environmentalist, Keith regularly patrols the middle and lower sections of the Lancaster Canal, submitting invaluable intelligence reports.

Graeme Holmes, Volunteer Bailiff, Durham

Graeme has been part of the VBS for over two years and has excelled at the role, performing as an Area Coordinator until recently returning to work full time. He is an excellent volunteer and reports regularly from his patrols in the North East.

Ted Pocock, Volunteer Bailiff, West Yorkshire

Ted was part of the first North East VBS induction back in 2016 and ever since has excelled in his role, with many reports and patrols from his area, West Yorkshire. He gets involved with many joint patrols, works well with his Area Coordinator and regularly submits intelligence reports.

Louis Goodman, Area Coordinator, East Anglia West

Louis has been a staunch and valued supporter of the Angling Trust’s work since his formal induction into the VBS in October 2016. He remains so today since his elevation to joint VBS Area Co-Ordinator in the East Anglia West (formerly Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire) region, with responsibility for the volunteer bailiffs based in and around Cambridgeshire. Louis maintains high levels of commitment and confidence amongst the volunteer bailiffs he oversees and, testament to the sterling effort that he has put in, there has not been a single negative comment from either the bailiffs or empowered staff in the area. Despite health issues, Louis has fully engaged with VBS phase 1, regularly recording patrols, and has also cultivated a working relationship with both the Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers and Cambridgeshire Constabulary Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) that has yielded regular joint patrols on waters in the area identified as problematic through local knowledge and intelligence.

Peter Wilcock, Volunteer Bailiff, Solent

Peter has been a volunteer since February 2017 and has taken an active part in the VBS, attending organised patrols with the police and Environment Agency, and supporting and helping at VBS inductions and Fisheries Enforcement Workshops within the South East region. Peter has also taken a particular interest in the River Itchen and the Itchen Navigation, actively patrolling the river and reporting a number of incidents to both the police and Environment Agency.

Alfie Mason, Volunteer Bailiff, South Downs

Alfie has been a volunteer since October 2016, taking a very active part in patrolling his local River Uck in East Sussex. He has developed an excellent working relationship with local Environment Agency fisheries staff in relation to reporting incidents and highlighting problems, especially in relation to waste and pollution from a site in Uckfield. Alfie has supported joint patrols with the police and Environment Agency and given up his spare time to help at VBS inductions and Fisheries Enforcement Workshops in the South East.

Paul Fitzmaurice, Volunteer Bailiff, South West

Since joining the VBS in February 2016 Paul has fully embraced its philosophy and consistently provided good quality patrols. He has built good relationships with local tackle shops, angling clubs and at local fishing seminars which have raised the profile of the VBS in the South West. Paul has also supported multi-agency meetings with the EA, Police and the Angling Trust at forums with local anglers as well as supporting work with BT Sport to raise the profile of the VBS.

Graham Nicol, Volunteer Bailiff, South West

Graham became a Volunteer Bailiff in April 2017 and actively patrols and consistently submits reports. Although often isolated, he patrols over a wide area and keeps his Regional Enforcement Manager updated on any issues he comes across. He is a perfect example of the VBS ethos of using ‘eyes and ears’ to help protect angling.

Award winner from Participation:

Mark Thorneycroft-Gibb

Mark is a retired teacher who is passionate about recruiting people into angling and giving back to the sport. He assisted at many large ‘Get Fishing’ participation events last year and has already supported four events this year with another two already planned in his diary. He helps with the many laborious and non-angling administration tasks necessary at ‘Get Fishing’ events, particularly managing the busy registration desk, always providing a welcoming and professional reception.

Award winners from Competitions:

David Kent

David is an avid match angler who cut his teeth in the 70s fishing the National Championships. He has held, and continues to hold, many esteemed volunteer roles and is an integral voice in representing anglers. David was part of the National Federation of Anglers’ National Executive and also held the NFA Vice President role before taking on the role of Director of the Angling Trust until his official retirement last year. David is the Chair of the Angling Trust Competitions Committee for all three disciplines, Coarse, Game and Sea, Chair of the Angling Trust Coarse Competitions Group Committee, Chairman of Angling Trust Trent Area Forum, Secretary of Long Eaton Victoria Angling Society and is a volunteer on many other advisory groups, promoting the sport in all he does. Throughout David’s involvement in angling, he has helped drive and develop many competitions such as Fish O Mania, Senior National Championships Division 1, Division 2, etc., events in partnership with Canal & River Trust, World Coarse Angling Championships and many more. David is incredibly hard working and continues to work tirelessly to support hundreds of anglers and volunteers in Angling Trust competitions.

Mike Storey

Mike is an integral Committee member on the Angling Trust Coarse Competitions Committee and gives up his own time to help others wanting to compete in the Angling Trust events. Mike is a keen and passionate coarse angler and loves fishing in Ireland and with Scunthorpe Angling Association when he manages some well-deserved time off. He is a hard-working individual and his dedication is unquestionable. Mike will often be seen offering to help at very short notice when others can’t to ensure the events take place. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to his volunteer role and is always keen to help deliver Fish O Mania qualifiers and National Championships.

Mark Downes

Mark needs no introduction on the match fishing scene, having been both an angler and manager of many successful teams over the past 40 years. In 1988 Mark was appointed Team England Manager and he has been hugely successful bringing back numerous gold, silver and bronze medals for Team England at both Senior and Junior levels and managed to secure world number one ranking for teams over the years. Mark’s experience is also recognised by FIPS-ed and he stands as a member on their technical committee, making significant decisions on the International stage. He gives up all his time voluntary and works tirelessly with coarse anglers, world teams and the Angling Trust bringing strong leadership skills, commitment and dedication to make a significantly positive impact on the sport. Mark has a proven track record and his reputation has grown in stature as a fantastic ambassador for angling.

Dave Harrell

River expert and Angling Trust Ambassador Dave Harrell started fishing when he was five years old. Dave represented England in his first Home International in 1987 and went on to win gold and silver medals in World and European Championships and has been a regular on the match fishing scene fishing for top match teams Starlets AS and Shakespeare. He has worked in publishing for many years and still regularly writes features for angling magazines. Dave is the brainchild behind the hugely successful Angling Trust RiverFest competition, in 2013 he approached the Angling Trust to introduce river qualifiers on venues around the country to support river anglers and to help promote competition on rivers. Through his hard work and diligence as a volunteer, his RiverFest competition has grown into the largest and most successful river-based competition in the country. Dave has continued to share his wealth of experience with anglers and works tirelessly giving up his own time to promote angling.

Brian Owen

Brian is the Chair of the International Marine Teams and Competitions Group for Angling Trust, who select England teams to participate in the FIPS-M World Championships and SALC Home International events. He is also the lead representing the Angling Trust and England on the Sea Angling Liaison Committee (SALC) in the selection of the SALC Home Internationals. Brian gives up many hours of his own time to help support angling and his communication skills, strong work ethic and pleasant demeanour are widely recognised. Following serious illness, Brian has continued to work tirelessly with marine anglers and the Angling Trust to support them in the sport and he is often seen stepping in at very short notice to help to ensure events can take place. Brian goes the extra mile to ensure all the marine anglers can participate in the World and Home Internationals and is an excellent ambassador for the sport.

Chris Clark (BCA)

A former World Champion sea angler who has gone on to win 23 world medals (gold, silver, and bronze) during a lifetime of fishing, Chris Clark invests a wealth of knowledge and expertise to sea angling. Chris has dedicated his time and effort to help to inspire hundreds of youngsters wanting to fish for their country. He is a main selector for England teams on the Angling Trust International Marine Teams and Competitions Group and is also on the FIPS-M Technical Commission for Shore Angling in Luxembourg representing the Angling Trust. Over the last four years, Chris has taken a lead role in developing and coaching on the Angling Trust Sea Angling England Talent Pathway programme, which is designed to help junior anglers transform into world class anglers, and he has also held numerous voluntary posts representing anglers. Over the years, Chris has worked tirelessly to support juniors through the sport, taking teams across the world to compete in major events and often going the extra mile to help cover costs, as he believes the sport should be available to all and not to those who can afford to fund themselves. In 2018 Chris was recognised for all his hard work and awarded the British Citizen Award (BCA) which recognises exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society.