HELP volunteers have been ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Organisation of the Year’ title at the recent Harrogate and District Volunteering Awards.  A group of HELP volunteers were presented their certificate at the Volunteering Oscars ceremony at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate on Friday 28th October.

The team of 80 volunteers were nominated by Lizzie Hughes from HELP in recognition of the 100 plus hours they jointly give every week to support local people to remain living independently.  Ranging in age from 17 to 78, volunteers get involved in a wide range of roles, varying from practical support around the home for people unable to undertake decorating, gardening or DIY to befriending roles both in and outside the home.

With a small part-time team, HELP could not operate its services without its dedicated volunteers. Apart from offering practical support to HELP’s clients, all volunteers provide important social contact to local people. Lizzie Hughes explained: ” Our volunteers act as a familiar face and offer a listening ear to our clients. They really do act as a social lifeline to our clients, many of whom might go several days without seeing anyone.”

She continued: “One of our volunteers recently told us volunteering makes them feel ‘useful’ in their retirement. To us, they are invaluable – we are delighted their dedication has been recognised.”