Pensioner Billey recognised for 30 years’ volunteering
A PENSIONER who has supported a Lochaber charity shop for nearly 30 years believes volunteering could be key to staying young.
Billey Denney, from Upper Achintore, recently received the Flame of Hope award for his volunteering services to the Cancer Research shop in Fort William.
The 82-year- old travelled to London to receive his award. While he was taken aback by the hustle and bustle of the big city, Mr Denney was most impressed by his fellow recipients.
He said: ‘ We travelled by train and everything went smoothly with the journey until we got to the underground. There were thousands and thousands of people there – I couldn’t believe how busy it was. But the award ceremony was special. We had a lovely lunch and there was a young man in his 20s who had raised £100,000 which is really impressive. I wasn’t the oldest either. One lady being presented was 97 and she still works on the till in a shop. Another was 91. It goes to show, keeping active can help you live longer.’
Since 2003, Cancer Research has presented more than 700 Flame of Hope awards to thank those who give their time and energy to help beat cancer sooner. Over the years Billey has helped the Fort William shop raise around £24,000 for the charity and he doesn’t plan on giving up any time soon.
Mr Denney added: ‘ A lot of the volunteers at the shop have lost people and that really is what keeps us all going. I will be doing a couple of shifts a week for the foreseeable fu- ture – we might not get paid as such but I enjoy it, especially meeting all the locals.’
Originally from Belfast, Billey moved to Scotland 47 years ago after meeting his would be wife, whom he married a year later and the couple have spent most of their time since then in Lochaber.
Mr Denney worked in the pulp mill in Corpach and after being made redundant it was his wife who encouraged him to volunteer.
Mr Denney said: ‘We heard they were looking for people and the Mrs said to me – you’ve always talked about volunteering and now is your chance. And really I have never looked back.’
Mr and Mrs Denney have one son, Ewen, who now lives in San Jose. The couple have visited Ewen and his family 14 times so far and perhaps will again in the future as Mr Denney says – ‘life is for living’.
Mr Denney received a Flame of Hope award for his services to Cancer Research.