An outstanding volunteer from Pontfaen YFC has been recognised by Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort as part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.

Sian Healey, who currently lives in Pembrokeshire, volunteers with Pontfaen Young Farmers Club, Brecknock Federation of Young Famers, and Wales Federation of Young Farmers, and has been recognised for her contribution and crowned a Coronation Champion.

This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.

Sian has been secretary of Pontfaen YFC for the past seven years, alongside studying paediatric nursing.

Passionate about YFC, Sian always finds ways to help members learn new skills, securing grants for training in first aid, chainsaw, ATV, baking, and food hygiene.

Sian has transformed the club’s competition approach by encouraging members to participate and providing structured support in speaking, cooking, dance, singing and interviews with members reaching national level.

Sian said: "It is such an overwhelming feeling, to be selected as one of the 500 official Coronation Champion for my involvement within young farmers. I will be wearing my pin badge with pride and look forward to celebrating at the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert on Sunday, May 7."

Sian has been a member of YFC since 2008, when she was just 10 years old. She joined Pontfaen YFC in Brecknock in 2013 where she is currently secretary, a role she began in September 2016.

"Since joining YFC I have taken every opportunity to act as an ambassador for the organisation, encouraging members to take every opportunity offered to them," she said.

"In 2021 I was chosen as Brecknock and Wales Federation of Young Farmers Senior Member of the Year and was runner up at National. I have had the honour of being the Youth Forum Chairman in Brecknock in 2015/2016. In 2022/2023 I was Chairman of Wales YFC Competitions Committee and at present I am Vice Chairman of Brecknock Fundraising and Events Committee."

Speaking about the benefits of being a part of YFC, Sian said: "YFC offers you opportunities to learn skills for life and I am certain, I wouldn’t be a Paediatric Junior Sister today if it wasn’t for the skills I have gained and developed through the movement, from taking part in a variety of competitions to organising community events. 

"I am always willing to help at Club, County, Wales and National level, seeing members grow in confidence and develop their skills is brilliant to be a part of. When I joined Pontfaen YFC we were about 20 members now we are over 70! The movement has given me so many fantastic opportunities over the years which I am truly grateful for.

"We arrange lots of community and charity events from our illuminated tractor run, pre-lambing Sunday lunch to concerts. I thoroughly enjoy organising events and it’s great to give back to our community and charities that support us."

With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.

All Coronation Champions, including Sian, have been invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party. They will also receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.

The Coronation Champions Awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile. Nominations were made across eight award categories; supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare.

Pontfaen YFC
Sian Healey (centre) pictured recently at the Wales YFC Speaking Day at Llanelwedd. Sian was part of the winning senior Brainstrust team (Photo supplied)

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended.

“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”

Royal Voluntary Service is immensely grateful for the generous support of brand partners Simplyhealth, for supporting the Health and Care category, Sky through its Sky Cares programme, for supporting the Community category and Petplan, for supporting the Animal Welfare category.

Those feeling inspired to try volunteering themselves are encouraged to take part in The Big Help Out on Monday, May 8. The Big Help Out is another official Coronation project, aiming to encourage newcomers to volunteering, bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation weekend.

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS and thousands of vulnerable people in the community. The charity delivers the NHS Volunteer Responders programme for NHS England, enabled by the GoodSAM app, with volunteers responding to over 2.5 million requests for help to support approximately 220,000 people, and completing over 363,000 shifts at vaccination sites. The charity also works in local communities running home libraries, companionship support, home from hospital services and patient transport. Its Virtual Village Hall provides online activities and classes to promote wellbeing and keep people active.