Couple honoured for work which has transformed lives

Lindy and Paddy  Conway
Lindy and Paddy Conway

A kind-hearted husband and wife have been presented with a diamond award by Christian Aid for their long-term dedication to the charity.

Paddy and Lindy Conway, from Warkworth, have between them clocked up more than 90 years of service for the international development charity.

The pair, who met when working as area coordinators for Christian Aid in London in the 1970s, have offered their help as both staff and volunteers and have collected vital cash for the cause.

But their dedication goes far beyond fund-raising, as they have worked to help people understand the issues that lie behind the global inequalities that Christian Aid tackles.

In the early 1990s, as part of the Morpeth Christian Aid Group, they helped establish the annual Morpeth Spring Evening, which is still well supported and where themes related to poverty can be explored over a meal.

When asked what lay at the root of their dedication to Christian Aid, Paddy said: “I strongly believe it’s making a real difference.”

Lindy added: “For me, it seems obvious: When people are starving, why wouldn’t you do something about it?’”

As the charity marks 60 years of its annual fund-raising drive, known as Christian Aid Week (from May 14 to 20), the charity is celebrating the incredible dedication of its supporters by presenting diamond awards across the UK.

Every May, thousands of supporters take to the streets – for door-to-door collections, bake sales, sponsored walks and abseils, among many other events – to raise money to support people around the world living in poverty.

Paddy and Lindy are members of Warkworth United Reformed Church and they recently retired as Christian Aid Week organisers due to Paddy’s ill health.

They were presented with their diamond award by the Rev David Herbert, Moderator of the Northern Synod of the United Reformed Church.

Reflecting on the importance of Christian Aid Week, Lindy recalled how amazed a visiting beneficiary from Indonesia was on discovering that income came from individuals knocking on doors, inviting their neighbours to give generously to help others.

Lindy said: “It’s the human contact that I still find moving; it may only be one week a year but this is a vital part of our mission as Christians.”

Kerry Crellin, from Christian Aid, said: “It’s thanks to the dedication and vision of supporters like Paddy and Lindy that we are able to reach people in desperate need and challenge the causes of poverty.

“Their commitment changes lives and it is a privilege to recognise their contribution towards a world where people not only survive, but thrive.”