18 November

Volunteer acknowledged for going extra mile for others in community

Jack has received a Community Stars award for his work with a food project
Jack Woodley

A volunteer has been recognised with a Community Stars award for giving his time to help a food project that supported him during a challenging time in his life.

Jack Woodley, 19, got stuck into every aspect of The Fare Exchange in Bodmin, often volunteering five days a week to meet demand during the pandemic.

He has been doing everything from stocking the shop, bulk-handling and supporting the supply of emergency food to approximately 400 people in Bodmin and regionally about 5,500 people.

His community efforts have been commended by the business as he scooped an individual prize in the latest round of Community Stars - a competition to celebrate unsung heroes across the South West.

Jack said: “I did it because of the pandemic, I thought it’s something to do so I thought I might as well make it something productive.

“It was actually really fun and the people who work there are really nice as well, they’re really good people They also paid for lunch for me while I was there too.

“I appreciate getting the award, it’s really nice to receive it.”

Jack, who moved to Bodmin two years ago, is hoping to continue helping after stopping due to work. 

The project has been appreciative of all his hard work and flexibility to go in when times were tough for the area.

Jack added: “I think it’s a really good thing LiveWest are doing these awards. It will probably encourage more young people to actually volunteer and help out in their local communities.

“When lockdown started it almost doubled the amount of food we had to give out. I enjoyed it and it was nice when people started to recognise you and thank you at the door when you gave it to them.

“When I first moved to Bodmin I was really poor, and I actually used to go there, and they helped me out a lot so I thought I would volunteer.”

Jack was nominated by Community Connector, Mai Evans, for the quarterly award which the housing provider run to recognise people doing extraordinary acts of kindness since the pandemic.

Mai Evans said: “I was very happy to nominate Jack as a Community Star for the vital role he played in Bodmin with The Fare Exchange during the pandemic. Everyone there had been singing his praises. 

“He was hands-on helping to divert 32.9 tonnes of food waste from landfill, distributing it to people in need. All together it was the equivalent of 79,900 meals between as many as 854 people each week.” 

Amy Fergus, a Team Leader in supported housing, said: “I am so proud of Jack and how far he has come. I don’t think I have ever met a young man who has such a strong work ethic and who enjoys helping others as much as Jack.

"He never does half a job - he strives for the best and always achieves a great outcome.”

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