The winners of the Association for Project Management (APM) Volunteer Achievement Awards have been announced at the Volunteers' Forum taking place in Leeds on Thursday 3rd November.
APM's Volunteer Achievement Awards recognise and reward the invaluable contribution that volunteers make to the success of the organisation and the wider project profession.
This year's awards included six categories recognising individual and collective successes: Branch of the Year, SIG of the Year, Education Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer Event of the Year, Special Achievement and Volunteer of the Year.
The winners from each of the categories were selected by the Volunteers' Steering Group following the entries and nominations received.
Sarah Slater, Volunteering Manager at APM, said: I know just how much effort our volunteers put into the different activities they support, whether that be mentoring, our events or publications, to name just a few, sharing their knowledge and expertise, as well as promoting the project profession and membership of APM.
We rely so much on their support and commitment, and we are delighted to see many of our volunteers recognised for all their hard work and dedication. I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the winners and nominees.
The Volunteer Achievement Award Winners:
APM Branch of the Year - Thames Valley Branch
This award is for the APM branch which has delivered the most successful programme of activities throughout the year.
The Thames Valley Branch (TVB) has had an excellent year of events, outreach and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. Events have included a mixture of online and face to face formats, including a number of student outreach communications to all local universities; in particular a face-to-face presentation to the new student cohort taking place at Reading University in September 2021.
TVB is merited for its series of New Engineering Contract (NEC) bitesize webinars, which began in the autumn of 2021 and offer practical advice to project managers that they can use in their day jobs. Attendance of these webinars is regularly between 100 and 200, and the series has continued beyond the four (monthly) sessions originally intended. TVB also hosted and provided speakers for the third Unconference, an online event with an offbeat twist, where audience participation is a key component and where unconventional themes are explored.
The branch has also enjoyed success in progressing links with ex-Armed Forces personnel leaving the services and finding employment in civilian life, helping to utilise their many project management skills.
Steve Walters, Branch Committee member said: This is a fantastic recognition of the hard work put in by a fine team of volunteers. Much appreciation to all the team involved.
Education Volunteer of the Year - Giedre Irtmonaite
This award is for the volunteer who has made the most significant contribution to education outreach events throughout the year.
Giedre is a young project professional, who is in the first five years of her career journey in the profession. As a young Education Ambassador, Giedre is able to engage with students - many between the age of 18 - 24. As someone at the start of their own journey, students are able to relate to what Giedre says including her own unique experiences in today's online engagement-driven, virtual and fast-changing environment. One example of this was some excellent advice she gave to students on learning different functions in Microsoft Excel by following content creator on Tik Tok. Many of the students use already use Tik Tok, and Giedre was able to encourage them to use the platform for advancing their skills and knowledge base as well. Giedre has presented at three education insight sessions this academic year and is scheduled to present at two more.
This is an amazing investment of time and represents Giedre's commitment to giving back following the knowledge and valuable lessons she gained through APM, is impressive and she has become a dedicated mentor and advocate for APM.
On receiving her award Giedre said, I am honoured and quite shocked to have received this award. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to help and support other people, in the same way that APM helped me. Mentoring has really helped me improve at a personal and professional level, and it gives me great satisfaction to know I am supporting others on their journey.
SIG of the Year - People SIG (Specific Interest Group)
The SIG of the Year award is for the SIG which has delivered the most successful programme of activities throughout the year. The APM Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) have an important role to play within the profession in creating and disseminating new knowledge. They provide a forum where APM members and their guests can discuss a particular aspect of project, programme and portfolio management that is of current interest.
The People SIG is focused on leading people so they so can they can become a high-performing team is, some would argue, the most important skills that a project professional needs to develop. The SIG has a vision of Inspired and inspiring project managers' and a mission to raise awareness, inspire thinking and influence opinion around people and project management. The primary focus groups include Communications. Leadership and behaviours.
The People SIG's Leadership Stream, working with the Enabling Change (EC) SIG, has collaborated with the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) to host a webinar, and such was the success of this venture, that several follow-on webinars have been held and blogs written. Planning is now in progress to further develop this relationship with further activities into 2023 and beyond with more webinars, blogs, and the introduction of podcasts.
Ian Cribbes, Committee Member of the APM People SIG and a Project Consultant, said, We are delighted to have received this award. Projects are all about people and working together to break down barriers and enable change. We are proud of the collaborative work we have done to date with other organisations, such as the series of webinars, and we look forward to upcoming collaborations in the future, for the benefit of people and projects.
Volunteer Event of the Year - Scotland Branch (partnered Heriot-Watt University)
This year the APM Scotland Branch, partnered with Heriot-Watt University to deliver a unique outreach event at His Majesty's Young Offenders Institution (HMYOI) in Polmont, West Lothian. Six members of the APM Scotland branch, took time out from their daily projects to provide mentoring and support to over twenty male and female young offenders taking part in the event.
The goal of the event was to provide awareness of the project profession and to give young people, who might not have had the opportunity otherwise, hands-on experience of projects and project management. Following an introduction to APM and project management by the branch Chairman, the offenders were invited to form teams and take part in a scenario where they would play the role of leading toy design companies, competing for the contract to design the next must have' toy on behalf of a fictious APM Corporate Member. The task was to design and build a working, ride-on child's car and bridge, within strict time and quality criteria. The winning car was judged on its safety, fit-for-purpose and aesthetic criteria.
Each team was allocated an individual APM volunteer mentor who provided key support and guidance for successful delivery of the project objectives.
The Scotland branch is now considering how to provide APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ) training to prisoners and support in their reinstatement into the community. The branch is very proud of this event, it supports the APM vision of inspiring communities and delivering meaningful change for societal benefit.
Amos Haniff, Chair of APM Scotland and Dean of Heriot-Watt University said:
This was a really successful outreach event organised by a team dedicated branch members. It was fantastic to see young men and women, who might not necessarily have had the best start in life, so engaged and working together on a project, and learning new skills such as leadership and teamwork. It was a unique experience for everyone involved and everyone got a lot out of it. We are honoured to have received this award.
Volunteer of the Year - Dale Shermon
This award is for the individual who most consistently demonstrates the spirit, values and impact of volunteering within APM. This recognises the individual's activity and output, and the benefit and impact they offered to the profession.
Dale is a QinetiQ Fellow and Group Head of P3M Professionalism, Performance Excellence, GTOE, and first joined the Planning, Monitoring and Control (PMC) SIG in February 2021. The Co-chair Keith Haward asked if he would have a look at' an old draft of the guide to Project Controls for Senior Managers. Dale, despite having a demanding day job, not only reviewed the draft document, but took on the task of completing it for publication. Dale motivated colleagues to assist with the writing and reviewing of the guide, and 19 months later the latest version is being finalised for publication this autumn. Dale has been commended for the Volunteer of the Year for his ongoing commitment and dedication. Dale's work shows how vital such volunteers are to APM and its members.
Special Achievement - Kevin Barton
This is an award for the individual who has made a significant contribution to APM and its goals through volunteering, particularly over an extended period.
2022 marks the 15th year of Kevin volunteering for APM. During this time, Kevin has been an enthusiastic volunteer, ambassador, and contributor to enhancing and forwarding the project profession over an extended period. Without exception, for 15 years, Kevin has contributed to a profession he is passionate about, whilst raising a young family and working full time.
Kevin's volunteering started when he joined APM's Membership panel in High Wycombe in 2008, a role which still he retains today. Wanting to contribute more in 2009, Kevin joined the North-West Branch of APM to give back to his local region, where his commitment and dedication supported the growth of the Branch. Since 2012, he has been an annual APM Awards Judge supporting aspiring professionals gain recognition. In 2013, Kevin stood for election and was successfully elected as a Non-Executive Board Director & Charity Trustee, a period which was responsible for driving APM's quest to gain Royal Charter and become a Chartered body, which it achieved in 2017. Kevin also held the portfolio responsible for communication with, and representing, the UK and Hong Kong branches. Kevin is fantastic example of the dedicated long-standing volunteers that allow APM to thrive.
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