East Sussex woman wins military charitys Volunteer Award
1 April 2015 10:41
A woman from Brighton has been awarded Blind Veterans UK’s “Volunteer of the Year” Award for her extraordinary efforts as part of the Founder’s Day Awards
Marion Rees, 62 and from Saltdean, first started volunteering for Blind Veterans UK in 2010 after her move to Saltdean. She volunteers at the charity's Brighton centre where she works as a befriender.
Marion says: "I've always been a keen volunteer and after I got involved with Blind Veterans UK I enjoyed the experience so much that I've stayed for five years."
As a befriender, Marion spends her time working with blind ex-Service men and women who now live at the Brighton centre as they are unable to live on their own. Her dedication has provided a lot of comfort to residents who are often too ill or elderly to go out and about.
Marion says: "I enjoy talking with blind veterans, every single one of them has such a fascinating and individual story to tell - and they love to tell it! If it wasn't for my time befriending I wouldn't ever get to hear such interesting tales.
"Normally I visit the centre about once a week for two or three hours and I thoroughly enjoy my time there, which fits in great with my schedule as now I am retired."
Marion received the 'training certificate' as part of Blind Veterans UK Founders Day awards, held each year on the 26 March. Founders day celebrates Blind Veterans UK's founder Sir Arthur Pearson and his success at rebuilding his life after sight loss. They are given to outstanding veterans and volunteers for their achievements. This year, the day is particularly significant as it commemorates 100 years since the first blind veterans entered the training centre in Regents Park for rehabilitation, on 26 March 1915.
Marion says: "I had no idea that I had even been nominated for this award. I was shocked and obviously very pleased. It has been a great experience and I feel very humbled."
If you are interested in volunteering with Blind Veterans UK, please visit blindveterans.org.uk for volunteering opportunities.