Vol­un­teer saluted at Age UK awards

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LO­CAL older peo­ples char­ity Age UK Lan­cashire has held its an­nual staff and vol­un­teer awards – with one Orm­skirk vol­un­teer re­warded for ex­cel­lence.

This year’s event had a fes­tive theme and was held at the town hall in Chor­ley on Tues­day, De­cem­ber 18.

Bring­ing to­gether staff, vol­un­teers and trus­tees the cel­e­bra­tions in­cluded live mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment from a South­port bar­ber­shop singing group called the Men in Black, who treated the au­di­ence to a va­ri­ety of songs from the ages, plus some Christ­mas clas­sics.

David Ward from Age UK Lan­cashire said: “This is the fifth event we have done to cel­e­brate our or­gan­i­sa­tions achieve­ments and in what has been quite a chal­leng­ing year in a num­ber of ways, it has been great to be able to fin­ish on a real high”.

The event was at­tended by many of the new trus­tees the char­ity has brought in and was an op­por­tu­nity for new chief ex­ec­u­tive Teri Stephen­son to re­view the year and talk about the fu­ture plans and op­por­tu­ni­ties she hopes to over­see.

Mr Ward added: “We were pleased that so many of our team from around the county were able to at­tend.

“The real high­light of the day was cel­e­brat­ing the staff and vol­un­teer nom­i­nees and win­ners.

“It was great to have the staff awards spon­sored by Vin­cent’s So­lic­i­tors and Napthen’s So­lic­i­tors spon­sor­ing our vol­un­teer awards.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate their sup­port, with­out which we wouldn’t be able to host these events.”

Orm­skirk and West Lan­cashire was rep­re­sented on the day by David Ash­ton, who picked up a vol­un­teer award for his ex­cel­lent con­tri­bu­tion to the Well­be­ing Cen­tre on Moor­gate in Orm­skirk.

David vol­un­teers there ev­ery week, help­ing peo­ple with blue badge ap­pli­ca­tions and any other sup­port peo­ple at the cen­tre need.

He has also trained fel­low vol­un­teers in other parts of the county to do blue badge ap­pli­ca­tion, en­abling more older peo­ple to ben­e­fit from the ser­vice.

Age UK Lan­cashire plays an im­por­tant role for older peo­ple in the county through cam­paign­ing for change to so­cial care, and pro­vid­ing ad­vice and sup­port for peo­ple in a va­ri­ety of ar­eas, in­clud­ing wel­fare ben­e­fit checks and in­for­ma­tion on how to stay healthy and warm in win­ter.

Lan­cashire also has one of the high­est rates on lone­li­ness in the whole county with more than 35,000 peo­ple over 65 said to be chron­i­cally lonely.

Age UK Lan­cashire works to sup­port peo­ple to stay ac­tive and so­cialise by pro­vid­ing ac­tiv­ity groups and op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to re­main in­de­pen­dent.

Claire Hamil­ton from Vin­cent’s so­lic­i­tors said: “It was a real tear jerker watch­ing the films and hear­ing sto­ries about the peo­ple they sup­port.

“We were de­lighted to be able to spon­sor the staff awards and felt priv­i­leged to be in­volved.”

In­for­ma­tion on sup­port­ing the char­ity or the ser­vices they pro­vide can be found on www.ageuk­lancs. org.uk – or by call­ing 0300 303 1234.

From left, bar­ber­shop group Men in Black; the awards cer­e­mony’s venue, Chor­ley town hall; and Orm­skirk award win­ner David Ash­ton

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