Outstanding volunteers to be celebrated at Hands on Birmingham’s IGNITE Awards on April 10. Purchase Final Tickets now.

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IGNITE 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year, Amrita Lakhanpal. Photo via Hands on Birmingham.

IGNITE 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year, Amrita Lakhanpal. Photo via Hands on Birmingham.

The spotlight is warming up to shine on local community champions who will be recognized for their volunteerism and love of the community at Hands on Birmingham’s IGNITE Citizens Volunteer Celebration, on April 10.

Hands on Birmingham IGNITE Awards 2019

The third annual IGNITE Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Hands On Birmingham on Wednesday April 10, 10:30-12:30 at The Club.
REGISTER for the event now to buy your tickets


IGNITE: Ignite Action. Accelerate Change. Photo via Hands on Birmingham

IGNITE: Ignite Action. Accelerate Change. Photo via Hands on Birmingham

The Goodness of Birmingham

Benga Harrison, Director of Hands on Birmingham described the upcoming IGNITE awards as,

“A day to celebrate and honor the goodness of Birmingham.”

Here are two examples.

Meet Past Winners

Charlotte Conaway, Adopt a School Program (Corporate Volunteer of the Year, 2017)

Charlotte Conaway was honored as Corporate Volunteer of the Year in 2017 for her work in the community and changing the lives of children in the Birmingham area.


Charlotte Conaway - 2017 IGNITE: Corporate Volunteer of the Year. Photo via Charlotte Conaway

Charlotte Conaway – 2017 IGNITE: Corporate Volunteer of the Year. Photo via Charlotte Conaway

Charlotte spearheaded the Adopt-a-School program at TekLinks (now C Spire), which allows colleagues to volunteer by tutoring children at Oxmoor Valley Elementary, and the company to donate valuable school supplies, books, and make major landscaping improvements to the school grounds.

“I’m very excited to have won this award for the Birmingham City schools. The work that we’re doing, we’re changing the lives of those children for the better.”

With hopes of more businesses adopting the model to sponsor other schools, describes corporate volunteering as a “simple and effective way for businesses to give back to the community” and says,

“The Adopt-a-School program is a win-win situation for schools and businesses in the community. We can contribute towards being a better place to live, and a better place to work”.

Amrita Lakhanpal, Screens for Schools (Student Volunteer of the Year, 2018)

Amrita Lakhanpal - 2018 IGNITE: Student Volunteer of the Year. Photo via Screens for Schools

Amrita Lakhanpal – 2018 IGNITE: Student Volunteer of the Year. Photo via Screens for Schools

Amrita Lakhanpal, a student at Altamont High School, was recognized as Student of the Year in 2018 for her Screens for Schools  laptop initiative founded with the purpose of fulfilling the technology needs of Birmingham City Schools.

Amrita was honored for her program that secured $18,000 for 60 chromebooks at the EPIC School, new charging points and professional IT development for teachers.

The Screens for Schools initiative has gone from strength to strength since Amrita was honored last year, with two more schools being adopted by her laptop initiative; Central Park and Martha Gaskins elementary schools.

Amrita explained,


“My work does not stop there. Coding clubs have been established at these schools to teach the fourth and fifth graders all about the wonderful world of computer science.”

Screens for Schools has also sponsored two students to go to Camp Innovation sponsored by TechBirmingham and has implemented the Behavioral One after-school computer program for children on the Autism spectrum.

Watch Amrita introduce future plans for Screens for Schools on Vimeo.

Honoring Birmingham’s volunteers

This celebratory event is open to the public and provides a fantastic opportunity to learn about the significant contributions that have been made by those who volunteer and make a difference in Birmingham’s communities.

IGNITE will honor citizens who “create social change through selfless actions without looking for acknowledgment in return”.

“While their actions go largely unrecognized, volunteers are truly the ‘heart of the community’.  IGNITE was created to celebrate the grassroots level Volunteer, the Leaders Making a Difference in our community that can be seen everywhere.”

Amrita Lakhanpal - 2018 IGNITE: Student Volunteer of the Year. Photo via Screens for Schools

IGNITE’s one of a kind glass awards by Birmingham artist Amy Soverow. Photo via Hands on Birmingham.

Among those recognized will include a presentation of the 16 finalists from the following eight categories:

Community Volunteer of the Year, Corporate/Company Volunteer of the Year, Faith Based Volunteer of the Year, Government Volunteer of the Year, Hands on Birmingham Volunteer of the Year, Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year, Small Business Volunteer of the Year, and Student Volunteer of the Year.

Attend the IGNITE AWARDS 2019

Amrita Lakhanpal - 2018 IGNITE: Student Volunteer of the Year. Photo via Screens for Schools

Attendees enjoying the 2018 IGNITE Awards. Photo via Hands on Birmingham

The IGNITE Awards Ceremony provides a great opportunity for volunteers throughout the Birmingham area to gather together, inspire others, and be recognized for their achievements.

Enjoy the event at the historic The Club Ballroom, which will include a delicious brunch of chicken & waffles (and a vegetarian option). Register for the event – HERE – and after you submit your email, purchase a ticket.

The event will start at 10:30 and end promptly at 12:30.

IGNITE Volunteer Awards Ceremony Poster. Wednesday, April 10, 2019. 10.30-12.30

Sponsored by:

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  • Originally from Wales (UK) and a fluent Welsh speaker. Longtime sustainability and recycling champion. Former county recycling manager in the UK. Career highlights include introducing innovative recycling systems and achieving a point where households throw out trash just once a month. Competed in international coastal rowing championships and followed Wales throughout Europe in their Rugby and Soccer endeavours.