Top Salford elderly group nominated for ‘volunteer’s MBE’
By Tom Rodgers (SalfordOnline)
A volunteer-led community group which helps elderly people in Salford to beat isolation has been nominated for a top award.
The Queen’s Award recognises the best groups in the country, which couldn’t run if it weren’t for the dedication and time given by kind-hearted volunteers.
The Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Michael Oglesby heaped praise on the organisation when he dropped in to the Eccles branch of Salford Heart Care on Shakespeare Crescent on Tuesday 14 January.
“I think this is a wonderful place, I really do,” said Mr Oglesby.
He should know. In 1978 Mr Oglesby founded the Bruntwood property group and has had a lifetime of business and charity work. He was made CBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for services to industry and charity.
Salford Heart Care has around 50 volunteers throughout the city and has seen around 700 members come through its doors in the past two years alone.
Maureen Chapman from Anson Street in Winton has been attending Salford Heart Care for the past 14 years.
She’s encouraged friends and even mithered her husband to come and join the club.
She told us she’s constantly amazed by the dedicated of the volunteers who give so much to members.
“Some people living on their own never get a hug,” she says.
“But when we come in here, it’s hugs and kisses every time.
“I like the days out, the bingo and the bric-a-brac stalls – we get a soft toy every week and if we see a lady with a trolley and a pushchair we ask ‘Would you mind if we give this to your little one?’. They’re always pleased and accept it with a smile. It’s just our way of making kiddies happy.
“I get very emotional when I talk about the club, because I get a lot of happiness and joy from it.”
Salford Heart Care runs groups in Irlam and Cadishead, Langworthy, Little Hulton, Weaste, Walkden and Eccles, and is a vital way of getting older people out of the house, meeting others, and keeping their brains and bodies active.
Chairman Jim Collins explains it best.
“We invite everybody in, elderly people, neighbours, their carers: we try and reach out to people , we’ll go and pick them up, if we can’t, we’ll find someone who can.
“For a group that started as a place for people with diabetes and heart problems, we’ve grown to dealing with the very serious problems of social isolation.
“Most of all, the people who come here love it, and you can’t ask for more than that.”
The Queen’s Award is given out every year in June.