Published Thursday 4 December 2014 at 11:12
A recent health event brought together over 70 volunteers to celebrate their work for the Council’s award-winning re:fresh initiative.
Providing well over six thousand hours of support in 2013-14, re:fresh volunteers are involved in many different health and wellbeing projects in Blackburn with Darwen, enabling more local residents to lead a healthier, happier life.
The event at King George’s Hall saw the volunteers gathered together to be thanked for their time and efforts with eight people on the night also nominated for a special award. The eight nominees’ stories were heard with each volunteer in attendance able to cast a vote.
A local walk leader was eventually crowned the winner. Gary works for the ‘Every Step Counts’ project and leads walks for people in his community. He said:
“I never imagined winning or people voting for me, especially with the other volunteers nominated. It really does mean a lot to me. Walking and my volunteer role gives me a sense of order. I have responsibilities now and have to be disciplined to get to training, walks and develop routes to a deadline. My wife says it’s the ‘new me’ as I am buzzing so much from all the walks.”
Gary was nominated by the Every Step Counts project leader Annette Bell. She said:
“Gary has a very ‘can do’ attitude which we all admire. He thoroughly deserves recognition for how much time and effort he has put in and how many individuals he has helped and encouraged to walk more and get more active.”
Other nominees on the night included those volunteers working on projects including healthy communities partnership, heart town, dance classes for elderly people, running and fitness classes, grow active allotments project, walking schemes and Zumba classes.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said:
“I’m delighted that the re:fresh volunteers were celebrated in this way. They’ve all put in such hard work over many hours and the aim of the night was to give them some recognition and celebrate the positive impact they have on our services, many of which wouldn’t operate without their support.”
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with re:fresh, please visit www.refreshbwd.com or contact (01254) 587661.