Charity trustees enjoy Palace party

Two trustees of a Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) have been given right royal recognition after appearing at a garden party to thank them for their work.

Norma Harrington and Mark Storey both represented WiSE at a Buckingham Palace garden party after the charity was granted the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last year.

The pair are amongst an army of more than 125 volunteers who regularly give up their time to support WiSE services- including activities, transport and befriending.

All the charity’s volunteers are being celebrated as part of Volunteers’ Week (1 to 7 June)- an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities.

WiSE Trustee Norma is one of the charity’s longest serving volunteers. She said: “I think it’s 11 years since I’ve been a trustee all together! I had just taken early retirement from my job as the Governor of Wealstun Prison to care for my elderly father who had suffered a stroke and wanted to contribute something to the local community utilising my transferable skills.

“The best bit about being a trustee is enabling the whole team to deliver great activities and services to local people who then feel less isolated, as well as looking at how we can expand and move the organisation forward.”

WiSE chair of trustees Mark Storey started his journey with the charity in 2018, and is also CEO of Sheffield-based older person’s charity Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC).

Mark said: “I first became a trustee for a whole host of reasons. I wanted to make a difference within a charity that tackles a social problem that I am personally and professionally connected to. It is also helpful for charities to build knowledge and learn from each other; and making a difference to the lives of older people in Wetherby. I felt I had a good strong skillset that could be used to good effect.

“What I enjoy most about being a trustee is getting to meet like-minded people and in some small way helping to make ‘that difference’. It was a fantastic day at the Royal Garden Party hosted by The Prince and Princess of Wales. Thank you to WiSE for allowing myself and Norma to represent the charity at this prestigious event.”

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) was one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2022 – and one of just a handful of organisations locally to have ever picked up the accolade, which is equivalent to an MBE.

The prestigious, royal award is a fitting reward for its 125 volunteers who work so hard to help isolated, older people across the district.

For more information about WiSE and the volunteering opportunities available, visit www.w-ise.org.uk

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