Michael Hampton was recently crowned Volunteer of the Year at the Cherwell Volunteer Awards for his work as ‘Mike on a Bike’, helping the community during the pandemic with shopping and collecting and delivering prescriptions.
Sanctuary was proud to organise the ‘Love Where You Live’ event with Cherwell District Council.
We received more than 40 nominations for Mike from people in the Cherwell community.
Mike was described as a ‘true local hero’, ‘kind and honest’, ‘inspirational’ and someone who ‘does everything with a smile’.
After the awards Mike told us about his motivation to help others, reflected on his selfless work and recognition and told us about the bike accident that restored his faith in humanity.
Mike said: “When they announced the first lockdown, I thought, what if it was my parents who weren’t able to get food and medication?
“I decided that I needed to physically get out there and help. I don’t drive, so I bought a push bike. My friend called me Mike on a Bike as a joke – and it stuck!
“In addition to this and my part-time work in a supermarket, I became an NHS Volunteer responder and I have the Good Sam (Good Samaritan) app. I want to help as many people as possible.”
During the height of lockdown, Mike was collecting 20-30 prescriptions a day from pharmacies and planning routes – much like paper rounds – to deliver them.
Mike has delivered birthday cards and presents – and even tended to the garden of someone recovering from Covid.
Mike needed to take three weeks off when he was knocked from his bike while delivering blood samples to a GP.
Mike said: “I was in a lot of pain, but I still managed to drop off my client’s samples before heading to hospital.
“Unfortunately, my bike was written off, but after posting about it on Facebook, a kind local person bought me a new one. He said he did it because I was out there helping and he wanted me to carry on. That restored my faith in humanity.”
On winning the award
Mike said: “When I found out I was speechless. I don’t do it for any sort of reward – but it was nice to have recognition and it inspires me to keep going. I’m just out to help people.
“I dedicated the award to my mum and late dad as they instilled the values in me that make me want to help others in need.”
(Mike, pictured above (left), receiving his award from Councillor John Donaldson (right). Photo credit: Keith Davies)
An outstanding community contribution
Charlie Heritage, our neighbourhood partnerships manager, said:
“Mike’s efforts over the past 18 months have obviously made a huge difference to lots of people and we were thrilled to present him with the award.”
The offer still stands
Mike’s offer to pick up supplies and prescriptions for people in the Banbury area still stands.
To message Mike, or to find his contact details, please visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/michael.hampton.520/about.
Mike can also be contacted through Keith Davies at Volunteer Connect at Banbury’s Citizens Advice Centre.
The Cherwell Volunteer Awards is part-funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit our residents and communities.