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Together for 30 5 Star Supporter Awards - Sue, Chloe and Anthony

We are celebrated our 30th anniversary throughout September by encouraging people to get active and get together to take on our Together for 30 fundraising challenge. This challenge aimed to highlight the work we do to tackle social isolation by encouraging people to walk, run, cycle or move their way for 30 miles during the month, doing part or all of the distance with other people.

Connecting people has always been one of our core aims, so we wanted to say a special thank you to some of the people who have been part of our journey over the years and who have helped us to keep connecting and supporting people.

Last week I completed probably the most enjoyable 6 miles of my Together for 30 campaign to date as I joined some of the people who attend our regular ‘drop in’ sessions at Boldon Community Centre on their sponsored walk. It was a fantastic afternoon and a great chance to catch up with some familiar faces and to meet new people. It was the first time I had been able to meet with some people in person in over 2 years and this included one of our Directors with lived experience Derek who was supporting the walk. It was also the first chance I’d had to meet in person with two of the staff supporting the event Ashley and Anna, both of whom had been recruited during lockdown. Everyone was in good spirits, and it was so humbling to see everyone joining in no matter what their ability. The event was a massive success raising a grand total of £785 – which is amazing.

The event also provided the perfect opportunity to present not one, but three of our 5 Star Supporter Awards to recognise the special people who have gone above and beyond to support the work we do.

Sue Topping is the manager of Boldon Community Association, a fantastic community resource based in the heart of the Boldon Colliery. Sue and her team were pivotal in helping us to set up a drop-in group in Boldon for people with learning disabilities and autism. They have welcomed us into their café so we can run sessions alongside their existing breakfast club, and Sue herself has gone above and beyond to get to know the people we support. She always consults with us around new activities that may be beneficial to the people we work with, and demonstrates a genuine commitment to inclusion and connection. You can find more about Boldon CA and the incredible range of activities run through the centre, here:

Chloe Douds is one of our much-valued volunteers who has supported us in many different ways over the years, from helping us to run drop-in groups and promoting self-advocacy, to supporting people to access the internet during lockdown and helping to run our virtual groups and activities. Chloe has their own support needs but this has never stopped them contributing their time and energy to others, and during lockdown they were an integral part of the team that made sure that some of the most vulnerable people we work with were supported through the pandemic and could remain connected to their friends. You can read more about Chloe’s inspirational story and why they find volunteering with Your Voice Counts so valuable here:

Anthony Lowes is another volunteer who really went above and beyond for us during lockdown by helping us to make regular weekly calls to some of the most vulnerable people we support at a time when they were particularly isolated. Anthony is always incredibly flexible and regularly puts his hand up to help us in any way he can. Over the 2 years he has been volunteering with us his support has ranged from supporting our admin team while we were temporarily short-staffed to helping us week in week out at our regular drop in sessions. Anthony’s award was kindly sponsored by our colleagues at EMG Solicitors, a firm who represent many of the people we support through our Advocacy services. Your read more about Anthony’s story here:

You can find out more about our Together for 30 campaign, about my challenge, and about how you can get involved by following the link below:

- Dave Woolley, CEO

How you can support us

Your Voice Counts is an independent charity, separate from funders, public bodies and other service providers. Please support us if you can by:

If you’re interesting in volunteering with Your Voice Counts and would like to find out about how you can help you can visit our website at or by contacting us on 0191 478 6472 or at


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