Leading West Midlands charity, Beacon Centre for the Blind, has recognised the valuable contribution made by its helpers with its Volunteer of the Year awards.
Presented as part of national Volunteers Week, the Beacon ceremony took place at the charity’s Sedgley headquarters.
Arwyn Jones, chief executive of Beacon, said: “More than 3,000 people in our local community receive support from the charity every year – and we could not deliver that service without our tremendous team of volunteers.
“It is an honour to recognise those individuals who ensure those living with sight loss across Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire are able to access practical assistance and leisure or social activities.”
Beacon staff nominated and voted for volunteers in two categories, celebrating the work undertaken within the charity.
The Retail Volunteer of the Year Award went to Philip Scott, who has worked tirelessly at the Sedgley shop five days per week since 2008 and even lends a hand to keep the charity’s vans clean. Philip was nominated by his manager, Dawn Sawbridge, who described him as loyal, popular and respected by colleagues as someone who always puts in 100 per cent effort.
Winner of the Beacon Centre Volunteer Award was Chris Guy, who helps out across all the charity’s head office departments. Flexible and well liked, she has volunteered since 2012 and made herself indispensable in the activity centre, equipment and advice room, luncheon club, befriending service and as part of the ActivEyes leisure team.
Also presented at the event were a number of long-service awards. Jane Bood has volunteered in community social groups for more than 30 years, while Janet Sharpe has served up 30 years in the catering team. Jane Oakley and 92-year-old Mary Martin have both helped with fundraising for 20 years, and Irene Bryan has tended the Bilston charity shop for more than two decades.
Arwyn added: “Between them, these five ladies have given us more than 120 years of service, so it is fitting that we recognise their incredible contribution, along with a number of other volunteers who have each helped out for over ten years. Their combined contribution is extraordinary and we applaud them.
“Volunteering is a fabulous activity – not only benefiting the charity but also the individual as they gain experience, skills, social interaction and a tremendous sense of satisfaction as they give something back to their community.
“Anyone interested in volunteering opportunities with Beacon can find out more on our website – www.beacon4blind.co.uk – or call the centre on 01902 880111.”