Volunteer of the Year
Jennifer Anne Upton
A Volunteer for Life: Jennifer Upton has dedicated her life to helping young people get a good start!
Jennifer has been nominated for this award by her husband, Paul Upton. For most of her life, Jennifer has wanted to give back to the people and organisation that helped shape her life from an early age. Being a part of the Guides as a young girl, Jennifer was inspired to continue the legacies that she had learned from her Guide Leaders from when she was young. Consequently, she is now a highly regarded volunteer for the Scout Association that is experienced and dedicated to Scouts and Guides in the Southampton area.
What is the name and purpose of the organisation that Jennifer volunteers for?
The Scout Association - The 3rd Itchen North Cub Pack Itchen North and South Scout District Roverang Gang Show - Southampton Schools in Southampton. Helping young people to gain lasting skills, giving them a good start in their lives.
What is Jennifer's current occupation?
Jennifer is a retired teacher. She spends her free time volunteering for the Scout's Association.
Why do you think Jennifer is so motivated to volunteer?
Jennie was in the Girl Guides as a girl and had a great time, and she wants to give that same opportunity to every young person she can. She knows how much it helped to make and shape her. As a result, she is motivated to pass on the legacy that was left with her; to inspire and create a lasting effect for other young people.
Is it possible to measure how much volunteering that Jennifer does?
Jennifer is now in retirement and sometimes suffers with ill health so we'd say it's around 15 to 20 hours a week. In the past, she used to give up most of her free time and spend 2/3 hours each day and sacrifice most weekends. Plus, she would run a Cub Camp each year (8 days) and 2 weekend camps.
Why is the Scouts' Association so close to Jennifer's heart?
Jennie became friends with a Cub Leader who attended the Guide camps when she was a young Guide. This period of her life had such an effect on her that she was left inspired by her leaders, vowing to take up a similar role and volunteer when she was able to. As a result, she stuck to her promise and later on in life, she would go along and help her with Cubs when she was old enough. This is what she did when she was 14, and has been helping almost non-stop ever since (she is now in her late 70s).
She has a wonderful gift of being able to communicate with young people and is passionate about giving them the best start in life she can. It's important to Jennifer that she helps young people as she believes there aren't many resources or outlets for them to gain valuable life skills like there used to be. It's a shame to see and which is why she spends above and beyond what is asked of a volunteer. Similarly, this is also why it's so close to her heart.
How does Jennifer balance her commitments?
Jennie is not in great health at the moment and her mobility has been limited in the last few years. However, her commitment to young people and the Scout movement is still as great as ever and she tries to attend various events when she is able to. She is a County Training Adviser for Scout Leaders and runs the First Aid courses for the Scout district, helping young people gain valuable life skills that will stick with them throughout her whole life. These commitments are very important to Jennifer and often take priority over other events that may arise in her day-to-day schedule. So, despite everything, she will still manage to find the time to give back.
What has been Jennifer's standout volunteering moment?
There have been so many! Many thousands of young people have benefited from the hard work and commitment of Jennie Upton. To name just a few, Jennie has fundraised to send a Scout on a World Jamboree, ran a Gang Show that gives young people a chance to perform on a professional stage, among many other countless opportunities. Jennie has done so much for the Cubs and Scouts in the Southampton area that it would be difficult to pick just one stand-out moment. Jennie is an all-round great volunteer and would absolutely deserve this award.
Lastly, why do you think that Jennifer deserves to win this award?
Jennie has been a volunteer for the Scout Association since she was 14, she is now 78!
Part of her volunteering responsibilities with the Cubs, Scouts and Guides was to appear, produce and help to run Roverang - a Scout and Guide Gang Show. This was as well as having a very successful career as a teacher before she retired, also volunteering to run many after school clubs and activities while she was still a teacher. Her life has been dedicated to the young people of Southampton.
Jennie has spent her life volunteering for the benefit of the youth of Southampton. She has been a dedicated volunteer for all of her adult life, working and retired, and most of her childhood - and is still going! She has achieved so much in her life and is a wonderful example of how delightful giving up your time to help others can be.
So, if you think that Jennifer deserves to win a SuperAchiever award for her life-long volunteering efforts vote now!