A Changing Lives volunteer in Gateshead has been nominated for ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at this year’s Gateshead Awards.

Gateshead-Award-logo-newAnthony Richards, who volunteers for Changing Lives’ accommodation projects in Gateshead as well as other local and national charities, has been nominated after his tireless work to help change the lives of vulnerable people in the borough and support the services who helped him recover from a difficult time in his life.

The Gateshead Awards, presented annually by the Mayor of Gateshead, celebrates all those who have made a real difference to the lives of others in the borough.

The Awards recognise the hard work and dedication of volunteers, carers and everyone else who goes out of their way to make the Borough a better place to live, work and visit.

Anthony’s Story

Anthony came to Changing Lives at the beginning of 2015 a ‘broken man’. He was sleeping rough on the streets and battling with a long-standing alcohol problem after losing his job and home.

Since then, Anthony has worked tremendously hard to not only change his own life, but others around him. He has gradually decreased his dependency on alcohol whilst living in one of Changing Lives’ accommodation projects, which has enabled him to focus on his future.

Anthony has volunteered with Changing Lives, helping in the gardens of local accommodation projects, as well as supporting others by volunteering with Crisis, The National Trust, and a local church.

“Anth is a great person to have in the project. He shows by example what can be achieved through hard work. It’s a fantastic achievement for him to be nominated for this award, and I know he is very humbled by it.”
–  Thomas Bowmer, Project Lead at Gifford House.

Anthony is dedicated to helping people change their lives, and so alongside volunteering he is also a representative on Gateshead Council’s Housing Forum, using his own experience to help change the future for others.

All of Anthony’s dedication and tireless work has been carried out whilst dealing with personal issues which for many could lead to a loss of hope. Anthony has recently become a carer for his brother, who has been diagnosed with MS.

You can now vote online for Anthony, with voting closing on Wednesday 8th March 2017. VOTE HERE.