Dedicated volunteers nominated for Inspired in Rutland awards

Lorna Grey was nominated for her work with Make a Wish
Lorna Grey was nominated for her work with Make a Wish
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A woman who has dedicated her retirement to helping others and a man who set up a social group for patients with dementia are among the most inspiring in the county.

The Rutland Times has teamed up with the county branch of the British Red Cross to celebrate the amazing work carried out by volunteers and charity groups around the county as part of the second Inspired in Rutland awards.

Dr Charles Lawrence was nominated for his work with Rutland Reminders

Dr Charles Lawrence was nominated for his work with Rutland Reminders

Lorna Grey, of Glebe Way, Oakham, was nominated by her husband Allan, who believes she is an inspiration for all the community work she does.

Nine years age she suffered a brain haemorrhage and took almost a year to recover but rather than sit around doing nothing, she looked for local charities to support.

Lorna became a volunteer at the Age UK charity shop in Oakham and helped out at the Make a Wish office, a charity which grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Allan said: “Having been a teacher in her working life, Lorna always had a love of children and in Make a Wish she found her spiritual home, not least because our own daughter was born with a congenital heart defect and was given only a small chance of survival.”

Lorna became more involved with the charity and now visits children to find out what their wishes are. She has also raised around £20,000 for the charity, some of which came from a sponsored jump off the Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand at the age of 60.

Lorna said: “I am both proud and delighted to be put forward for this award as it gives us a chance to highlight Make a Wish and the wonderful work they do for young people.”

The second nomination goes to Charles Lawrence, of St Alban’s Close, Oakham, for his work with people with dementia.

In September 2010, he set up Rutland Reminders, a group which offers therapy through singing.

He was nominated by John Bagley, of Vicarage Road, Oakham, who said: “Charles set up and continues to organise Rutland Reminders which helps the increasing number of elderly folk in our county who suffer memory loss or have Alzheimer’s disease.

“These folk can still sing the old popular songs even if they cannot express themselves or remember everyday things, and they really enjoy the sessions. It also gives their carers a welcome boost.”

Dr Lawrence, 71, is a retired schoolmaster. He spent many years visiting elderly people with groups of school pupils and was keen to continue his visits after retirement.

He saw something on television about a singing group for people with dementia in Bristol and wanted to replicate it in Rutland.

The group runs sessions in Oakham and outreach sessions in Manton, Ketton and Tixover with the support of 30 volunteers.

He said: “I find great satisfaction in running the group. It is very enriching to offer a few minutes of happiness to our guests with dementia and to see the effect the group has on them.

“I’m very humbled to be nominated for the award but it is the volunteers who make the group possible and the carers who are on duty 24/7 with no respite.”

The Rutland Times is still keen to receive more nominations for the Inspired in Rutland Award. If you know an individual or group which deserves recognition for their work in the community, let us know. E-mail the editor Eileen Green at rutland.editorial@jpress.co.uk to let us know who you are nominating and why.

The deadline for nominations is November 14. The winner will be chosen by the Rutland Times editor Eileen Green, former High Sheriff of Rutland Bart Hellyer and Mary Hardwick of Inspire2Tri and announced at a ceremony on November 28 at The Falcon Hotel in Uppingham.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the ceremony can contact Helen Lee-Smith of the British Red Cross by e-mailing HLee-Smith@redcross.org.uk or 07710 710827.