A local volunteer described by his peers as thoughtful and generous has been named as the inaugural recipient of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman’s Medal.
Damian Charleson, a volunteer for Camp Quality and proprietor of Jayco Newcastle and Hunter Valley Homes, will accept the Medal during National Volunteer Week on Thursday 24 May at the Charitable Foundation’s grant giving ceremony.
The Chairman’s Medal, created to honour the late Michael Slater who was both Chairman of the Newcastle Permanent Building Society and the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for almost 10 years, recognises the achievements and contribution of an outstanding individual volunteer and the impact volunteers make to our community.
Damian has been recognised for his considerable fundraising and volunteering efforts. He has raised more than $100,000 for children impacted by cancer and has been involved in the development of new fundraising events for Camp Quality including an annual corporate golf day and the Moto Cyc events.
Chair of the Charitable Foundation, Phil Neat said Phil shows similar qualities to Michael, making him more than deserving of the medal.
“We were incredibly impressed with the commitment Damian had shown Camp Quality for the past eight years, particularly given he has a young family and runs his own business,” Phil said.
“For this inaugural Medal, the selection panel was in search of a recipient that held qualities which echoed those of our good friend and colleague, Michael Slater, who served the community as a volunteer himself for almost 35 years.
“Damian, who was chosen from almost 25 nominees for the medal, has in the Foundation Board’s view shown these same qualities that Michael cherished.”
When announcing the award, Jeff Eather, Chair of Newcastle Permanent Building Society, said the passion, commitment, and enthusiasm that Damian has for his voluntary role with Camp Quality has been clearly evident.
“From giving his time, to sharing his knowledge and his contacts, to personally sponsoring major events, the impact that his efforts have on the community are impressive,” Jeff said.
Camp Quality provides services to children and their families through every stage of cancer, from the first experience of cancer, to treatment, to remission, and in some cases, bereavement.
Michelle Young from Camp Quality said volunteers are the backbone of our organisation.
“They provide our charity with valuable enthusiasm, knowledge, and energy to help deliver services to local communities,” Michelle said.
“Damian first became involved with the organisation after sponsoring his friend in a Camp Quality charity challenge. Since then, he has proven to be an invaluable source of knowledge, contacts, commitment, and enthusiasm.
“Damian has never said no to one of our requests for support or advice. He is constantly on the lookout for ways he and his business connections can further support Camp Quality and the children and families we support.
“Damian is generous in giving of his time and he has tirelessly supported kids and their families impacted by cancer. His considerable fundraising and volunteering efforts have made a meaningful difference to the lives of many children and their families impacted by cancer.”
The Chairman’s Medal will be presented annually to a volunteer from a charity that has previously received funding from the Foundation. Damian will receive a Medal and Camp Quality will receive a $3,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to be used for volunteer development and recognition.
IMAGE | Damian Charleson has been named the inaugural recipient of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman’s Medal.
The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in grants each year to facilitate charitable projects to address disadvantage in local communities throughout the Hurter, Central West, Central Coast, New England, Mid North Coast, and Northern Rivers regions of NSW. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $18.3 million to 435 community initiatives.