Nick Carruthers, from Port Talbot, has been selected as one of the Royal Voluntary Service Coronation Champions.
The King and Queen Consort have recognised 500 extraordinary volunteers from across the UK, who have contributed to their communities.
Nick volunteers with PRIME Cymru as a Volunteer Mentor and has been recognised for his outstanding work supporting older people back into employment.
As a Volunteer Mentor, Nick uses his professional knowledge and experience to support many older people across South Wales to achieve their goal of starting up in business – guiding them to overcome barriers such as low self-confidence, perceived ageism and skills gaps.
The pandemic led to many over 50s leaving the workforce – often through redundancy or health issues. Nick has dedicated his spare time to supporting those who wish to become economically active again but find the prospect daunting.
Award winners were handpicked from almost 5000 entries by a judging panel led by the Queen Consort. To mark this achievement, Nick has received a Coronations Champions pin badge, a signed certificate from Their Majesties and was invited to attend the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert.
Nick said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award. Thank you PRIME Cymru for nominating me.” Nick finds the pace of mentoring perfect alongside his part time job. The variety of clients has kept things interesting. Nick has supported start-ups such as a health and wellbeing company, a cleaning company and a cacti stall.” He said “I am able to combine mentoring with my part time job as a train driver for The Margam Park Railway. It’s nothing too onerous, but it’s a complete change to what I do day-to-day, and it keeps my brain active.”
PRIME Cymru Mentor Programme Manager, Beverley Kennett said: “We are very pleased that Nick has been selected as one of the 500 Coronation Champions, and the award is very well deserved by someone who is dedicated to supporting both his clients and fellow volunteer mentors. Nick is a huge advocate of PRIME Cymru’s mentoring programme and promotes it whenever possible.”
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended.
“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”