Two proud charity volunteers say a major royal honour has given them a big boost, as they continue their work helping isolated older people across the borough.
Lindsey and Sue are just two of an army of 130 volunteers left stunned when Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) was named recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service- the top award any UK charity can receive.
The generous duo both say supporting WiSE has given them a renewed sense of purpose, with the royal honour a fitting reward for the hard work they see their fellow volunteers putting in every day.
Activities volunteer Lindsey, said: “My husband and I retired recently, so I was looking for things to keep myself busy whilst helping the local community.
“I emailed the WISE office and after being invited for a meeting, I was delighted to be accepted as a volunteer. On my first day, I was slightly nervous as I didn’t know what to expect, but felt welcomed into the fold straight away and settled into a new and fulfilling way of life.
“When I first heard about the Queen’s Award, I was so happy for WiSE. I felt it was very much deserved as I know how hard each and every volunteer and staff member works to achieve the high standards they do, often going above and beyond expectations.”
WiSE Owl Café volunteer Sue, said: “Loneliness in older people has always been something that has concerned me, so when I read about the WiSE Owl Cafe in the Collingham Parish newsletter, I decided to try to become involved. This was about eight years ago.
“I became a volunteer at the cafe, just a few hours a week, and have enjoyed every minute. Volunteering has given me a renewed sense of purpose, some welcome structure to my week and has helped me to make new friends.
“WiSE volunteers are always made to feel appreciated and valued and this has certainly been underlined by our recent thrilling award, the Queen’s Award for voluntary service.”
The Queen’s Award is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
WiSE offers advice and information, activities, transport, befriending and a myriad of other services- almost all of which are supported by volunteers in some way.
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01937 588994.