Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 BMC Volunteer Awards. From GB Climbing Team members, and Mountain Training experts to local festival organisers, all of them will win a specially-commissioned award from legendary Chamonix artist Andy Parkin.
The awards will be presented as part of the 2019 AGM weekend in Buxton.
The George Band Award for Exceptional Voluntary Contribution to Mountaineering
The George Band Award recognises people who have played a significant role in the BMC’s work over an extended period of time. The 2019 award recipients are longstanding volunteers Andy Newton and Fiona Sanders.
Andy has been volunteering for the BMC for over 30 years in various guises, beginning with a stint on the (then) Management Committee in 1988, and chairing the Wales area. He has also been the BMC representative on the Mountain Training board and an area access rep. Since 1995 he has been a member of the Training, Youth and Walls Committee (formerly Training Advisory Group), a committee he has chaired since 2005.
"Andy is as passionate about the BMC as he is about Mountain Training, as he is about the grass roots and supporting all without contradiction. Therefore, for the BMC, he has always been one of our strongest advocates within a wide variety of outdoor communities.
Andy works quietly, beneath the radar, without any hint of self-promotion, achieving compromise with good humour. Andy would be very worthy recipient of the award as equally for his promotion of the BMC and defender of its work, as for his decades of voluntary involvement with the organisation"
- Mike Raine & Tim Jepson
A former president, vice president and secretary of the Climbers' Club (2005-2013). As President of the largest BMC-affiliated club, Fiona dealt with a range of governance issues and brought a strategic direction to the club. In 2009 Fiona took the initiative in work that lead to the formation of the BMC Clubs’ Committee. After its inception, she set up and organised a training programme for club members that included delivering workshops at Plas y Brenin. As chair (2013-18), she inspired volunteers and staff alike, working tirelessly to co-ordinate their efforts on behalf of clubs.
Most recently Fiona has been integral to the Organisational Review and the Organisational Development Groups, and has been recommended by National Council to become one of their representatives on the BMC Board of Directors.
"Fiona combines a passion for the outdoors with directly relevant knowledge & experience gained during a professional career in leadership development, executive coaching and trainer training. Her award nomination is built upon a foundation of service, leadership and organisational development.
Fiona is still a regular climber in the mountains as well as at sports venues. She is a stalwart champion of clubs, striving to promote their needs to the BMC and ensure that they are dealt with equitably within the BMC framework. The BMC has reaped the benefits of her dedication, ability and enthusiasm. We commend her nomination for the George Band Award to you."
- Rik Payne & Peter Salenieks
Some of the trophies to be awarded
The Rehan Siddiqui Award for Exceptional Voluntary Contribution towards promoting Equality and Diversity in the BMC
The Rehan Siddiqui Award recognises those who have made a significant voluntary contribution to the BMC’s commitment to increasing opportunities for under-represented groups to participate in climbing, hill walking or mountaineering and the work of the BMC. The 2019 award recipient is GB Climbing Team member Molly Thompson-Smith.
As a professional climber, Molly plans to use her platform to inspire and diversify climbing and to reach people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds who are under-represented in the sport. She also plans to promote climbing to the wider sporting community and educate people on what it’s all about and the lifestyle to try and get more people into climbing.
Molly is part of the thinkBeyond Talent movement and is using her social media platform to spread her message. Molly is involved in this movement because it’s something she believes in, and is using her current position as a professional climber for the greater good of society – a truly inspirational person who deserves to be recognised with this award.
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award
The Young Volunteer Award recognises those young people who have made a significant voluntary contribution to the BMC and its commitment to supporting participation in climbing, hill walking and mountaineering. The 2019 award recipients are Ellie Fuller and Stuart McDowell.
Ellie is an inspirational person who has volunteered on several BMC youth meets, and has provided input and support on three of the BMC student seminars. She was an active member of the BMCs Women’s Development Group and is one of the core organisers of the Women’s Trad Festival.
Stuart has been the primary organiser of the BMC Gower Climbing Festival for the past two years, and is already planning the 2019 festival. The festival would not run without his dedicated input and planning. Stuart works tirelessly to ensure the festival is a success and is totally committed to ensuring people enjoy themselves.
For 2019, the BMC commissioned artist Andy Parkin to create unique sculptures to be given to the winners. The awards will be presented at the Presidents dinner at the Lee Wood Hotel on the evening of the 30 March.
Watch: BMC President Lynn Robinson talk to Andy Parkin about the inspiration for the trophies
Find out more about the BMC Volunteer Awards
Details of the nominations process for the 2020 awards will be announced later this year.
Find out more about the work that goes on behind the scenes with the BMC specialist committees:
Behind the scenes: equity
Behind the scenes: guidebooks
Behind the scenes: huts
Behind the scenes: international mountaineering
Behind the scenes: land management
Behind the scenes: technical equipment
Behind the scenes: training, youth and walls
Find out more about: BMC specialist committees
The nominations process for the 2020 BMC Volunteers Awards is now open.
Nominate a volunteer for an award
BMC Volunteer survey
We're keen to understand more about BMC volunteers and have put together a survey for all current volunteers, previous volunteers and those who might want to volunteer in future.
Read more and complete the survey here