Prince Charles endorses special award

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The selfless, devoted kind-hearted community champions dedicating hundreds of hours of their own free time simply to help others.

Pat, a sprightly and youthful 71, will now be reluctantly stepping into the spotlight later next month. She’s off to York on October 16 to join 60 other good hearted citizens from the North. They are being recognised as “Diamond Champions,” for their outstanding volunteer work.

800 were nominated and Pat was one of the top 60 who made it through to the final. She will be presented with a specially designed Diamond Champions pin and a certificate signed by HRH Prince Charles.

Pat became a volunteer leader with the Brownies in 1997 - attending every week and joining in with all trips and holidays - despite the cost coming from her own purse. When she had to retire, she continued to attend meetings and joined the girls on trips to Switzerland and Disneyland Paris, just to stay in touch.

As well as her work in guiding, Pat has also been a rock for 10 years to a gentleman with a learning disability and significant physical disability - visiting him at his home weekly. She also attends events, activities and holidays with him.

In addition, she has volunteered with a group of individuals with a learning disability on an annual five day trip to Bendrigg Lodge, an outdoor pursuits centre near Kendal. Pat has joined the group for the past 10 years and is an integral part of all the week’s activities and its pre-planning and reunion.

Pat is known by the group and its tutors as “supergran” and still joins canoeing, sailing, archery, climbing, abseiling and caving.

Those close to Pat say: “She is an inspiration to all those around her. In the past few months Pat has also been providing care and support to her neighbour who has dementia, including support with meals, medication, GP visits etc.

“For the last six years Pat has been supporting a weekly line dancing group for disabled people on a weekly basis, including being a member of the steering group and helping at all fundraising and social events. Pat’s personality and integrity are a shining example to all those around her.”

Sue Collins, WRVS head of services, said: “It is with great pleasure that we announce the 60 Diamond Champions. They are truly deserving of the honour and it is justified recognition of the selfless work they do in their communities to help others.

“It was incredibly hard to choose 60 Diamond Champions from all the nominations we received; all the nominees are fantastic examples of the incredible volunteering work being done.”