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Awards galore for our volunteers

The 800 group Community Volunteer Awards took place on 16 September at Bradbury Fields and Nugent and our volunteers triumphed.

Nugent was awarded Charity of the year, whilst George and Mary Cureton, Leaders of the Netherton Community Group and Joanne Smith a volunteer with Nugent Opening Doors Service all won Volunteer of the Year awards for their volunteer work.

George and Mary Cureton are parents to two adults with severe learning and physical disabilities,, they set up the Netherton Community Group in 1989 so other parents of adults with learning and physical disabilities had a base to meet in Litherland. The Group has become a vital part of the community with many long standing members.

The group meet twice a week at the Netherton Park Neighbourhood Centre (Saturday afternoons 1-4pm and Tuesday evenings 6-8pm) and is attended by around 10 other adults with physical and/or learning disabilities and their parents who are the registered volunteers.

The group has given the parents of the adults a chance to meet with others whose grown up children have similar conditions and enabled them to make lifelong friendships.  Nearly all of the volunteers (parents) and their children that attend this group have done so for the last 27 years since George and Mary set the group up.

The commitment and dedication to supporting one another amongst this group is overwhelming to see.  George and Mary Cureton along with all the other parents of the group have dedicated their entire life to bringing up their children (who are now all adults in their 40’s/50’s) and keeping this community group together. If it  wasn’t for their hard work, commitment and passion for helping others in similar circumstances to themselves then this group would not be able to continue.

Anna Biggs, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Nugent said:

“I have always deeply admired George & Mary  as they are at an age in their life where most people are enjoying their retirement but for George & Mary the only break they get are the few days a year respite that their children are entitled to (which is being cut each year due to council cutbacks).  However, you never hear them complaining, they just take everything in their stride.”

Within the last year unfortunately Mary has been diagnosed with Dementia.  It is devastating to hear, particulty given they have both dedicated their lives to bringing up their children and the hard work they have put into leading the community group, that George is having to also now look after his wife.  They both have gone above and beyond their duties as volunteers and deserve to be acknowledged for the years of service they have provided to this community group.

Joanne Smith has been volunteering at Nugent Opening Doors Service since November 2015 and has supported several clients who are lonely and isolated and unable to get out of the house on their own due to lack of confidence and independence.

Joanne has supported a lady who struggled with her mobility and had not been out of the house for many months due to the fear of falling in public and as a result of this had lost contact with friends.

Joanne began taking her to lunch groups and other activities within the Knowlsey community and gradually the lady’s confidence began to increase and she engaged in conversations with other members of the groups due to Joanne encouraging her and using positive language to prompt this to happen.

Joanne has also supported a blind lady who had a fear of going out alone into her local community. The only time she felt safe was when she was with family members. However Joanne began taking her to a social variety group were she engaged well with other members of the group and has now made sustainable friendships and she is still continuing to attend the group alone without the support of Joanne.

People Joanne has supported have said of her:

“Joanne is a lovely, kind hearted person and I am going to miss her”

“Joanne is a lovely girl and I wish she could continue to visit me, don’t know how I would of done this without her”

Joanne has recently started an additional volunteering role, completing a Read to Lead training were she is now delivering her own reading group in the Huyton area for Nugent and the Reader Organisation. This has made a positive impact on Joanne as a person as her confidence and self-esteem has grown. Joanne has now gained employment but feels she still wants to remain a volunteer for Nugent and has made arrangements with her new employer to do this.

Our volunteers provide a vital role and support so many vulnerable people, these awards give recognition to the invaluable work they do in their communities. We are so very proud of them all.

If you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved with the group, or in volunteering with Nugent please contact Colin Pryor at Nugent.

Colin Pryor, Volunteer Coordinator 

Tel: 0151 261 2041 / 07909925594 

Email: Colin.Pryor@wearenugent.org

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