Vol­un­teer given na­tional award

San­dra al­le­vi­ates iso­la­tion among el­derly

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

A vol­un­teer who helps al­le­vi­ate iso­la­tion for the el­derly in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang has re­ceived a na­tional award.

San­dra Ban­natyne, an area co­or­di­na­tor for the Cam­glen branch of char­ity Con­tact the El­derly, or­gan­ises monthly tea par­ties for older peo­ple who live alone in the two towns.

This month she was one of three peo­ple across the coun­try to re­ceive a Marsh Award. Cre­ated by the Marsh Chris­tian Trust, the award recog­nises peo­ple who im­prove peo­ples’ lives by con­tribut­ing their time and en­ergy to others.

Nom­i­nated for the award by Con­tact the El­derly, San­dra sup­ports vol­un­teers to host Sun­day af­ter­noon tea par­ties in their homes for up to eight peo­ple aged 75 and over who live alone.

With vol­un­teer driv­ers also help­ing the el­derly get to and from the party, the event gives peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy time out of the house so­cial­is­ing with others.

San­dra, who has vol­un­teered for the char­ity for al­most four years, said: “I was re­ally pleased to be recog­nised and happy for the group as a whole.

“We have five ladies in our group and they have their individual driv­ers who have been with them for a few years. The award has lifted us all.”

The busy grand­mother added: “I lost my hus­band and I was go­ing into a new chap­ter in my life and de­cided to vol­un­teer and I have en­joyed ev­ery minute of it. It’s nice tak­ing the guests out.

“The longer we have been do­ing it, the more con­fi­dent they have be­come and they are look­ing on the vol­un­teers as friends.”

Morna O’May, head of ser­vice in Scot­land for Con­tact the El­derly, said: “Ev­ery sin­gle one of our vol­un­teers are in­cred­i­ble, do­nat­ing their time to dra­mat­i­cally im­prove the lives of our guests. If we could give them all awards we would, but as we can­not, we try to find in­di­vid­u­als who have gone above and beyond for the char­ity and ac­knowl­edge their ef­forts.

“With­out vol­un­teers Con­tact the El­derly couldn’t work, that’s the sim­ple fact. Con­grat­u­la­tions to San­dra who is truly de­serv­ing of this award.”

To find out more about be­com­ing a guest of or volunteering with Con­tact the El­derly, con­tact Morna on 01786 871264 or morna.o’may@con­tact-the-el­derly.org.uk. Vol­un­teer hosts’ homes must have no more than a few steps to en­ter and a down­stairs toi­let.

Tack­ling iso­la­tion San­dra, back left, is sup­ported by a num­ber of vol­un­teers and hosts tea par­ties and days out for over 75s liv­ing in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang

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