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Pontarddulais St John Wales volunteer nominated for Guardian award

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 03, 2014

By Ruth Dawson / ruth.dawson@swwmedia.co.uk / @Ruth_Dawson

Lavon Smith with daughter Carolyn.

Lavon Smith with daughter Carolyn.

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A Pontarddulais woman has reached the final stage of the Guardian Volunteer of the Year awards.

60-year-old St John Wales volunteer Lavon Smith is one of just five shortlisted for the award's final public vote, having been nominated by Guardian newspaper readers.

Lavon has been giving her spare time to St John Wales’s Pontarddulais division for almost 25 years, and in that time has not only helped hundreds of people in need but has also transformed the volunteering experience.

Supporting Lavon’s nomination, Damian James, director of youth at St John Wales, said she "is an inspiration to youth leaders throughout Wales".

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As a regional youth officer, Lavon was worked hard to inspire generations of local young volunteers and turned the Pontarddulais division into a centre of excellence.

But Lavon’s tireless work has not stopped there: she has also raised thousands of pounds to secure the future of the St John Wales branch. When the hall where the division is based fell into disrepair, Lavon led a successful campaign to raise £26,000 to build a new venue.

To vote for Lavon in the Guardian of the Year awards, visit the Guardian's volunteering hub website before midnight on Thursday June 5.

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