Image: Martin Smidman holding his award

Man who ran three 10K races for the Welsh Refugee Council nominated for award

Image: The Welsh Refugee Council

Volunteer co-ordinator praised for his work getting people into work

A MAN who ran three 10k runs in three months for The Welsh Refugee Council has been nominated for the Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Year award.

Martin Smidman, 65, a volunteer and partnerships manager, recently completed the Richard Burton 10K in Port Talbot – his third 10K in three months representing The Welsh Refugee Council.

Now colleagues have nominated him for an award at the Cardiff Third Sector Council’s Cardiff Volunteer Awards 2023.

The Welsh Refugee Council won Organisation of the Year at the Welsh Charity Awards 2023.

The charity supports refugees and asylum seekers in Wales through schemes including its Wales Sanctuary Service, Move On Service, and Safe Play Spaces.

Through these schemes the council helps asylum seekers and refugees by teaching English, providing education and employment support, and creating safe places for children to play.

Martin Smidman has been the volunteer manager for nearly five years. Before that he was a comprehensive school teacher for 33 years.

“One thing I am proud of is that since I have doing this job around 22 of our volunteers have gone on to paid employment with the refugee council,” he said.

Volunteers go through the same application process as everyone else.

“But with the help of the education and employment team they can very often perform successfully in interviews and get offered the job on merit,” he said.

“Seeing them initially volunteering, getting satisfaction from it, gives me satisfaction and particularly when they go onto paid roles which they would not have got if they had not volunteered.”

The Welsh Refugee Council said: “Martin is our much-loved volunteer manager and has been running 10ks for over 42 years.”