Volunteer of the Year!
Nugent Volunteer Thomas Hollet has been awarded Volunteer of the Year at Knowsley Sports and Culture Awards 2016 held at Knowsley Leisure centre last week.
The awards celebrate some of the talented and committed local people in the Knowsley borough, who have made a difference to the community.
Thomas volunteers with our Opening Doors project which works to support isolated older people in Knowsley.
Thomas was overwhelmed to win and said: “This is great, but I don’t do it for this, I volunteer because i really enjoy it, meeting people and helping them to get out and enjoy life.”
Thomas retired in 2014 and began volunteering at Nugent in May 2015. During the last year he has provided support to several clients who are isolated and lonely and struggle to get out of the house alone.
Thomas supported one lady who is 84 years old and had not left the house for 9 months due to a leg injury. A number of different professionals and carers tried to encourage and support this lady to go out but where unsuccessful however Thomas was able to.
He took the lady to Chair based exercises in her local community centre for 6 weeks and this lady continues to attend alone now Thomas’s support has ended.
The lady said “Thomas was kind, patient and very helpful. He was like a brother or son to me and I am very grateful for his help”.
Thomas has also supported a gentleman living with dementia he is also a wheelchair user and registered blind. Thomas takes him out once a week to various activities including a reading group, dementia café, singing for the brain and walks around his local area. The gentleman now remembers Thomas and enjoys the time they spend together and his wife gets some respite.
Thomas has recently started an additional volunteer role within Nugent, driving a mini bus for one of our care homes. This role enables people with various physical and mental disabilities to participate in fun days out.
He has also completed Read to Lead training with the intention of offering reading sessions on a one to one basis to some of our service users who are unable to go out of their home due to mobility difficulties or mental health conditions.
Leane Corkery, Nugent Community Development and Volunteer Coordinator, said “Thomas has been an asset to our service, he is lovely and we’ve hade very positive feedback from the people he has supported.”