Volunteer recognition is just champion

Audrey Jones
Audrey Jones

A dedicated trio from north Northumberland have been named as Diamond Champions, to recognise their outstanding voluntary work.

Audrey Jones, from Amble, Susan Frater, of Alnwick, and Neil Telfer, from Thropton, were three of 60 people from the North East and Cumbria to be selected, from more than 200 nominations.

The Diamond Champions were invited to an event at Auckland Castle, in Durham, earlier this month, where they were presented with a specially-designed pin.

They also received a certificate signed by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

Diamond Champions, run by older people’s charity WRVS, recognises the contribution that people over the age of 60 make through volunteering.

Chris Graham, WRVS head of services for the North East, paid tribute to the 60 Diamond Champions who were selected.

He said: “ 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 by older people across the North East and Cumbria.

“They are all amazing examples of the kind of volunteer work being done by older people across the region.”

At the Durham ceremony, 10 of the Diamond Champions were chosen by a regional judging panel to join 70 others from across the UK at an event at St James’s Palace in London on November 29, where they will meet Their Royal Highnesses.

Betty Hogg, from Morpeth, was one of the ten selected, alongside Norma Bain (Darlington), Elizabeth Carr (Shildon), Pat Dick (Cramlington), Esme Eggleston (Appleby), Patricia Folland (South Shields), Vera Gaffney (Sunderland), Zelma Hallatt (Grange-over-Sands), James Iles (Ormesby) and Ken John (Wylam).