Royal Holloway, University of London’s Award for Outstanding Staff Volunteering recognises the time given by members of staff to the local community. This year the award has been given to Andrew Maher, a full-time security shift manager at the university.
Andrew Maher joined Surrey Search and Rescue as a volunteer in 2017. He initially joined as a Search Technician; developing skills to find missing people in distress and often in difficult situations.
After Andrew qualified as a search technician, he went on to qualify as a water technician. Andrew specialises in water rescues, working as part of a dedicated team of volunteers, saving lives in often very physical and emotionally demanding circumstances. As part of his volunteering for Surrey Search and Rescue, Andrew also became a medic and a Lowland Rescue First Responder.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Andrew continued to volunteer his time by working alongside Surrey Police to find missing persons and to check in on local vulnerable people who were alone during lockdown.
Speaking about winning the Award for Outstanding Staff Volunteering at Royal Holloway, Andrew said: “I was very surprised to win the award and very grateful for the recognition. It’s been a difficult year for all of us and for me to volunteer and do my bit to help my community has been rewarding.
“I’m very grateful to my boss Simon Davis, Head of Security Department at Royal Holloway, for being supportive of my volunteering work and nominating me for this award. Volunteering for Surrey Search and Rescue has been rewarding for. It’s not just me in the team, I want to thank the rest of the team for all there hard work throughout the year.”
Seamus Kearns, Trustee of Surrey Search and Rescue, continues: “Andy is a dedicated team member at Surrey Search and Rescue. He’s been in the team for four years and has attended numerous missing person searches, as well as life-threatening water rescue incidents. He thoroughly deserves to receive this award.”
Phil Simcock, Volunteering Manager at Royal Holloway, concluded: “During such a unique and challenging year we are proud of how our staff have offered their time, skills, and talents to serve others in all manner of ways.
“Andrew’s volunteering is testament of how our staff volunteer in the wider community, for which he is incredibly deserving of our Outstanding Staff Volunteer Award 2021.”
You can watch all of the Royal Holloway Volunteer Awards 2021 here.