The winners of the APM Volunteer Achievement Awards have been announced at the Volunteers’ Forum taking place at a special awards ceremony in Manchester on 16 November.
The Volunteer Achievement Awards, which have run for six years, recognise and reward the invaluable contribution volunteers make to the organisation’s success and that of the wider project profession. This year’s awards included six categories: Volunteer of the Year, Special Achievement, Education Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer Event of the Year, SIG of the Year and APM Branch 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, Senior Volunteering Manager at APM, said: “I know just how much effort our volunteers put into our events and publications, sharing their knowledge and expertise, as well as promoting the profession and membership of APM.
“We rely so much on their support and commitment, and I am delighted to see them recognised for 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 Volunteer of the Year - Shirley Conway
This award is for the individual who most consistently demonstrates the spirit, values and impact of volunteering within APM. It recognises the individual’s activity and output, and the benefit and impact they have offered to the profession, within the last year (October 2022 to September 2023).
Shirley Conway from Stirlingshire, Scotland was recognised for her dedication and commitment to APM through her extensive and impactful period of volunteering with APM’s Scotland Branch. Shirley is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lead, where she encourages inclusion in all she does - her support of women in project management is particularly noteworthy – helping organise a Women in Project Management webinar which was a recognised success among everyone who participated.
Shirley has devoted numerous hours to a wide range of activities within the Scotland Branch over the past eight years, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to the organisation. She has also successfully mentored numerous individuals, helping them achieve APM Chartered status.
On accepting her award Shirley said “I’ve been totally surprised, I used to go to APM events as a member, then volunteered because it was about how welcome people made me feel when I went along. It’s gone by so quickly, volunteering gets you so involved.”
APM Volunteer Event of the Year - Portfolio Management SIG conference 2023: Futureproofing: successful portfolio leadership and management in uncertain times
This award is for the volunteer group that has delivered the best volunteer-led event.
Determined to further build on the first conference we held in 2022 post COVID - 19, the Portfolio Management (PfM) SIG explored topics with portfolio professionals with a poll on LinkedIn and found that leadership and how to futureproof were top of the list. Starting in November, the whole committee helped source speakers through personal connections, drawing out the best from experts with each having a unique perspective on their organisation’s portfolios and styles of leadership and management. The café-style conference, held in May at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington, attracted a record-breaking 149 paying delegates.
On receiving the award, Petula Allison, PfM SIG Co Chair said “It’s great to be recognised and it’ll be really motivating for the committee, especially as we look towards our 2024 event. There was a lot of hard work from the committee and the APM events team in bringing this event together.”
APM Education Volunteer of the Year - Steve Walters
This award is for the volunteer who has made the most significant contribution to education outreach events throughout the year and look at the volume of activities delivered, range of activities and the diversity of audiences engaged e.g. school, university, influencers.
Steve serves as APM’s Thames Valley Branch (TVB) representative to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). He brings his 40 plus years of experience and expertise in project delivery and management across a multitude of APM activities. As part of his volunteering role, Steve regularly gives presentations to students at Reading University, and joins in the Inter-Branch HEI liaison group meetings. He also serves the Thames Valley Branch as a main point of contact with APM’s Fellows Forum, and encouraging younger committee members is one of his priorities. He serves as an Education Ambassador, mostly in connection with HEI activities.
On receiving his award Steve said: “I’m over the moon to have won – I’m a bit on cloud nine. The usual response of when I go into schools is ‘oh project management, what’s that?’ We need to get a lot more volunteers into schools. These are the kids choosing their GCSE subjects, which will shape their A levels, which will shape their careers – and they have never heard of project management. I really want to get into the grassroots to help raise awareness of careers in the profession.”
APM Branch of the Year - South Wales and West of England Branch
The Branch of the Year award is for the APM Branch which has delivered the most successful programme of activities and events throughout the year. APM has 14 Branches, with the new Channel Islands Branch launching this year.
Under the Co Chairing of Paul Johnson and Gary Mainwaring, the SWWE Branch serves a large geographical area with two Chapters - South Wales & Devon and Cornwall & Somerset. The Branch delivers a diverse range of events that ensure the development needs and expectations of its individual and corporate membership throughout the year. SWWE Branch has delivered 15 events since September 2022, reaching over 650 members. Highlights have included the SWWE annual conference, celebrating 50 years of APM.
APM SIG of the Year - Women in Project Management (WiPM) SIG
An award for the SIG which has delivered the most successful programme of activities throughout the year.
WiPM SIG is in its 30th year and is continuing to be bold for progressive change in the industry. The committee are passionate and dedicated in promoting the need for equality, diversity and inclusion within the profession, against the same cornerstones by the founding members some years ago, through a calendar of events that seeks to raise awareness, educate and give the tools needed to attract, retain and promote women within the profession. WiPM SIG has been the backbone of APM’s annual WiPM conference, dedicating time and energy to the planning of each event, alongside the APM events team. The last conference continued to see a large turnout (500+ delegates), with a packed conference room and great feedback. Other outputs from the SIG includes webinars, blogs, and news pieces and events in recognition of International Women’s Day.
APM Special Achievement - David Pearce (posthumously)
An award for the individual who has made a significant contribution to APM and its goals through volunteering, particularly over an extended period.
The APM Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire Branch posthumously nominated David for the Special Achievement award. David sadly passed away in December 2022 as a serving member of the Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire Branch committee. David was a longstanding member of the committee and made a significant contribution in promoting the APM and the project management profession across the region. David served as Branch Secretary between the years 2012 - 2020. David had a passion for nurturing others and took great satisfaction through the development of colleagues with words of support, encouragement and wisdom.