Pensioner honoured for voluntary work

AN 85-YEAR-OLD pensioner has scooped Suffolk's first Volunteer of the Year Award at a prestigious ceremony recognising unsung heroes in the community.Joan Fry, who volunteers for Mid Suffolk Axis for Disabled People, received the honour at the annual High Sheriff's Awards held in Ipswich last night.

AN 85-YEAR-OLD pensioner has scooped Suffolk's first Volunteer of the Year Award at a prestigious ceremony recognising unsung heroes in the community.

Joan Fry, who volunteers for Mid Suffolk Axis for Disabled People, received the honour at the annual High Sheriff's Awards held in Ipswich last night.

The charity provides leisure activities for people with physical and sensory disabilities aged between 16 and 64 from the Community Centre in Stowmarket and the Kerrison Centre in Thorndon, near Eye.

Clients can learn about arts and crafts, creative writing, computer skills and woodwork and the charity organises an annual holiday, Christmas shopping trip and a festive lunch every year.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was launched for the first time this year by Suffolk's High Sheriff, Sir John Kemble, and The Suffolk Foundation to encourage voluntary charities and community groups to nominate one of their volunteers for special recognition.

Mrs Fry's award, sponsored by the Ipswich Building Society, came with a £1,000 prize for her charity.

Most Read

Many community groups and projects received recognition in The High Sheriff's Awards, held at the Galleria at Ipswich Town Football Club, last night.

The Yard Project, which provides a learning opportunity for vulnerable people who find it hard to gain or continue employment, education and training in the Waveney area, won the Youth Project and Crimebeat Award.

Aldeburgh Education, which works with 8,000 people every year to provide high-quality performance projects and introduce people to the arts, won the Youth Organisation Award.

Shirley Barrett, of One Voice 4 Travellers Limited, Dominic Lee, of Suffolk Chinese Cultural Art Group, Martin Kyriakides, of the Pentecostal Church, Saline Moore, of The Ark Gospel Church, Dr Sushil Soni, of Ipswich Hindu Samaj and Del White, of NIA Project, all won Black and Minority Ethnic Community Champions awards.

For more information on The Suffolk Foundation, visit www.suffolkfoundation.org.uk.