A CHELMSLEY Wood volunteer has been handed a top award for 30 years of dedicated service to a children’s charity.
Sylvia Hetherington was handed a gong for her work at the Barnardo’s store in Chelmsley Wood as part of national Volunteers’ Week which runs from June 1 to 7.
She was handed a number of gifts from colleagues, including an engraved wooden long-service award in the shape of a ‘B’ for Barnardo’s.
The 73-year-old started volunteering in 1987 in a bid to help her search for employment but continued to help even after she found a job.
The mother-of-two is one of the longest-serving volunteers in the region and had never worked until she started at the Chelmsley Wood store.
She said: “In the old days the women were often expected to stay at home and look after the children, so I suffered from a lack of work experience when I needed to start looking for a job.
“The job centre suggested that volunteering would help so I joined Barnardo’s and found that it really boosted my self-confidence. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I decided to carry on supporting them even after I found part-time employment.
“Everyone is really friendly and I like meeting people, and it’s nice to know that I’m helping such a good cause.”
Barnardo’s manager Robyn Phillips thanked Sylvia for her hard work and dedication over the years.
Robyn added: “It’s amazing that someone would donate so much of their own time over so many years.
“Few people stay in paid employment for that long, which makes it all the more remarkable that she has done it without any financial reward.
“She’s fantastic. She’s brilliant with the customers and we love having her as a member of our team.”
The Barnardo’s store is open Monday-Saturday from 9am until 5pm and on Sunday from 10am until 4pm.
The team always welcome donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, homeware and accessories, as well as offers of help from potential volunteers.
For more or to find out about volunteering call 0121 788 0737 or visit www.barnardos.org.uk