Godwin Akinyele has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to volunteering by the High Sheriff of Clwyd. Godwin said: “This is not my first award, either here in the UK or in Africa, but I think there is something spectacular about this: being honoured and rewarded for what I simply enjoy doing – giving myself to serving others even when it is least convenient.
I want to say thank you to the office of the High Sheriff of Clwyd for considering me worthy for this award. I also want to express my profound gratitude to the British Red Cross, Welsh Refugee Council, Bawso and TCC for providing platforms to demonstrate my skills and passions. This award is a sure booster; an inspiration to continue in what I know how to do, because reward awaits everything.”
Godwin is a volunteer caseworker for British Red Cross Refugee Services and Welsh Refugee Council. He is also a support volunteer with Bawso. Godwin is also a VOICES Ambassador. People from the VOICES Network are experts by experience on refugee and asylum seekers issues, who contribute to shaping policies, news stories and improving services. Godwin was elected in the year 2019 as the Volunteer Representative of the British Red Cross (Refugee Services) for North Wales. On top of all this, Godwin is a supporter of the Wrexham Town of Sanctuary campaign.
Godwin was nominated for the award by Wrexham Town of Sanctuary, a coalition of individuals, community groups, faith groups and organisations working together to make Wrexham more welcoming for people who have fled their home countries due to war, violence or persecution. Lucy Allin, Wrexham Town of Sanctuary Coordinator at TCC (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru / Together Creating Communities) said: “When a person has been forced to leave their home country, it is vital they feel safe, respected and welcomed into their new community. Godwin’s volunteering makes a huge difference to people who are refugees or asylum seekers feeling welcomed in our communities. This award reflects how highly regarded Godwin’s skills and dedication are, within the community, and by a wide range of organisations.”
Wanjiku Ngotho-Mbugua, regional director of the Wrexham branch of Bawso, one of the supporting organisations involved with Wrexham Town of Sanctuary, and also a TCC member group said: “I’m so pleased that Godwin has won this award. He totally deserves it. He has taken his role as a volunteer very seriously and is available and punctual on all his days in work. He also comes to the office very smartly dressed and cheerful and sometimes I just wonder how he manages to do this every week when his own life is full of challenges- being a sanctuary seeker in Wales.
He has touched so many lives, especially those of asylum seekers, they have all benefitted from his sensible advice that comes from a well lived experience.”