Peterborough volunteers who make the world of difference to their communities named as Platinum champions

Four volunteers win top award.

By Stephen Briggs
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 11:00 am

Four volunteers who have made the world of difference to their communities have been declared ‘platinum champions’ for their work in the city.

John and Rosie Sandall, Tony De Matteis and David Ellis were among 490 people from across the country who won the award.

The Platinum Champions Awards were launched by Royal Voluntary Service and its President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, in honour of the charity’s Patron Her Majesty The Queen and the example she has set in her 70 years of service.

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Dave Ellis (top left) Tony De Matteis (top right) and John and Rosie Sandall

John and Rosie Sandall have spent the last 25 years helping families in Ukraine who are still being impacted by the Chernobyl disaster.

The couple recently spent time helping Max Yaschenko come to Peterborough. Max, who uses a wheelchair, was made homeless after Russian forces bombed his home.

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Rosie said: “We were surprised and honoured to be chosen as Jubilee Platinum Champions. It continues to be a great privilege to us to help the many friends we support in Ukraine and Max Yaschenko and his family who are now in Peterborough.

"The last four months have been very difficult for the many families we support and we continue to hope that peace will come soon. We would like to thank the many people in Peterborough who have supported our work in Ukraine over the last 25 years."

Tony De Matteis is the chief officer at the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade, and has been part of the service – the only volunteer fire brigade in the country – for nearly 40 years.

Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph after winning the award, he said: “It is always nice to get a bit of recognition – not just for myself, but for the rest of the crew as well. We all put so much work in for free here.

"The award will be getting pride of place in the fire station.”

David Ellis won his award for his service to the air cadets in Peterborough.

He said: “I am honoured to have been nominated and humbled to be chosen as one of 490 RVS Platinum Champions in recognition for 30 years of volunteering with the RAF Air Cadets.

"I started with 115 Sqn here in Peterborough back in 1992 as a trustee/volunteer whilst serving in the RAF at Wittering and have been volunteering there ever since. I became the chairman of Beds & Cambs Wg ATC, a post I still hold, in 2002 and last year I was also elected as the chairman for the Central & Eastern Region RAF Air Cadets.

“After 39 years as an aircraft engineer in the RAF I became more involved in the local community by becoming the Parish Clerk in Glinton. In 2007 I took on the role of Honorary Treasurer for the Glinton Friendship Club whilst also helping out with other tasks and also a trustee of Peterborough CVS in 2013 since being the chairman for the past few years.

“Throughout, it has been a pleasure working alongside some truly wonderful people who represent the very best in volunteering in their communities here in Peterborough and in the wider area. I hope that this recognition of my volunteering encourages more people to become involved in whatever way as their service is more important than ever.”