About the Bedford Volunteer Awards
The Bedford Volunteer Awards were created in 1982 by the Town of Bedford, continuing until 1996. After amalgamation, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) took over the volunteer selection, choosing 4 people from Zone 2, an area with about 100,000 people.
No Bedford residents were selected in those years.
In 2001, a group of Bedford residents decided to re-establish the Bedford Volunteer Awards to insure that people volunteering within our community were recognized for their generous contributions.
Originally funding for awards between 1982 and 1996 was shared between business and the Lion's Club. From 2001 through 2010 our elected politicians at the municipal, provincial and federal level contributed financially to the cost of this event. As of 2011 all funding comes from businesses in the Bedford area.
Since 1982 the Bedford Lion's Club has graciously donated the venue and manpower to assist with the event and have prepared the food for all guests.
Traditionally, the Councilor, Mayor, MLA and MP, elected representatives of the Bedford community, have been invited to address the Nominees to thank them for their valuable contributions on behalf of all levels of government.
Statement of Purpose
The Bedford Volunteer Awards Committee (referred to hereinafter as the “Committee”) provides our community with a program and a platform to recognize volunteers who serve our community.
The Committee is a volunteer body of 6 District 16 citizens charged with the responsibility of planning and coordinating the Bedford Volunteer Awards Ceremony, which includes:
- contacting Bedford community groups and sporting teams to encourage their participation in the volunteer nominee program.
- advertising to promote participation in the program
- soliciting adequate funds from local businesses to pay for the awards, ceremony, and a possible scholarship for the Youth Volunteer of the Year as well as a donation to the sponsing group for the Youth Volunteer of the Year
- receiving completed volunteer nominee forms from community groups choosing a Bedford Volunteer of the Year and a Bedford Youth Volunteer of the Year
- honouring all nominees and the two Bedford Volunteers of the Year
- forwarding the names of the Volunteer(s) of the Year to HRM as the District 16 volunteers of the year by the next HRM Volunteer Award deadline (currently the following calendar year)
Composition of Committee
The committee is comprised of at least 5 voting members and no more than 10. These members consist of one chairperson, elected from among existing members, plus at least 4 committee members who reside within HRM District 16.
A minimum of two past recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award and/or Past Chairs will be invited to assist in judging nominations each year to provide a wider base of input.
If a committee member resigns, or is elected chairperson, citizens of District 16 may apply to serve on the committee by submitting their names to the chair. The chair will in turn bring the names forward to the committee, which will vote on the selection after reflecting on the composition of the committee.
The chairperson will be elected from among the members of the committee for a single term of two years.
After serving one year, a committee member is eligible for selection as committee chair.
A vice-chairperson will be elected from among the committee members; s/he will continue as a committee member. S/he will chair meetings if the chairperson is unable to attend.
A treasurer will be elected from among the committee members; s/he will continue as a committee member. This officer is responsible for budgeting, paying bills, and maintaining the committee’s books. This person and at least one other committee member will have signing authority on the account.
A secretary will be elected from among the committee members; s/he will continue as a committee member. This officer is responsible for all correspondence and emails as well as keeping the minutes.
The committee shall meet on 4 to 5 occasions each year:
- in early fall, to finalize the list of groups invited to make a submission and to assign tasks to members.
- in January, firm up committee tasks.
- one to two weeks prior to the final deadline for submissions, so encouraging phone calls can be made to those groups that have not submitted.
- following the deadline for submissions, so members can identify their top three choices for Volunteer of the Year, from which a final vote on the winners can be made and final details of the event can be confirmed.
- and following the event, no later than May, so the date for next year’s event can be determined, the location booked, and any issues arising from the event can be identified early in the process for the subsequent year.
A quorum shall be 3 voting members, one of which must be the chairperson or vice-chairperson.
When voting for "Volunteer of the Year", Committee members are eligible to vote and...a minimum of two past recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award and/or past Chairs will be invited to also cast their votes.
Voting Procedure for Volunteer of the Year
All submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the date specified as the submission deadline. Late entries will not be eligible.
Each member will independently list in writing his/her top three choices for Bedford Volunteer of the Year and submit them to the chair, who will tabulate the results. (Top three choices in the adult category and top three choices in the youth category.)
The first choice of each committee member will have a weight of three (3); the second, of two (2); the third, of one (1).
The totals for all names will be added up.
The volunteer, one from the adult category and one from the youth category, with the highest score will be the Bedford Volunteer/s of the Year .
The chair will provide a matrix of the scores to the committee, showing the rankings, weighting, and final scores. This will be tabled and the results will be available upon request.
In the event of a tie, both people will be named Volunteer of the Year. In the event more than two people are tied, a further vote will be held with only the “tied” nominees being eligible for the vote.
Any person who has previously been named Volunteer of the Year or Youth Volunteer of the Year cannot be considered for the award for at least 5 years. However, a previous winner of the Bedford Youth Volunteer is eligible for consideration as Bedford Volunteer of the Year.
Under this process, voting committee members will not nominate persons for Bedford Volunteer of the Year.
In the event that a committee member is nominated, they will not participate in the voting procedure.
Each group presenting a volunteer will be invited to the event.
Each volunteer recognized will be invited and encouraged to bring guests.
Past Volunteers of the Year and their guests, and former committee members will be invited, as well as the community at large.
Recognition Protocol – each volunteer is introduced (alphabetically by organization), a committee member reads the volunteer’s service record and they are then presented with their awards.
The Committee Chair announces the Volunteers of the Year – Youth first, Adult second – and they are presented with their awards.
A reception for the volunteers, their sponsors and guests follows.
Post-Event -- The secretary will submit the names of the Bedford Volunteers of the Year (Youth and Adult) to the HRM volunteer committee as part of the HRM recognition process.