It’s always nice to make someone’s day!

It’s been a whirlwind two months into the role of being the new High Sheriff of Shropshire. As expected, the people of Shropshire have been so welcoming, and it’s been a privilege to meet some of the amazing volunteers that our county has.

As High Sheriff, one part of the role entails acknowledging the work of individuals and organisations within our glorious county, to give those special individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the communities in which they live or work the recognition they deserve.

After meeting with Nicola Wilkinson from Connexus Housing Group, I was made aware of a lady called Sally Cooke, who is a longstanding volunteer at Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS).

A very deserving recipient…

After a brief chat with Nicola, it was very apparent that Sally absolutely deserved some form of recognition for her efforts, so deciding to give her a High Sheriff’s Award was a very easy decision indeed.

As Nichola explained “Sally is our longest serving volunteer who has been coming to our largest, main refuge for approximately 14 years to run crafting sessions with the residents and she even fundraises in her own time to buy the crafting materials.”

Nichola also explained that her efforts don’t just stop at crafting either! She has recently ventured into providing music lessons, teaching the residents to play the keyboard, and has further fundraised for a keyboard for the residents to use. She also managed to get SDAS a mud kitchen for the children to play with and organises getting donations of clothes and toiletries too.

Nicola arranged for the team of volunteers to get together on Thursday 23 May to thank them for their efforts, and also arranged that I would surprise Sally with being given a High Sheriff’s Award too!

Having heard lots of lovely feedback from other members of her team, including ‘Sally will do anything for any of the residents and they all just love her’ and ‘Everybody looks forward to Sally coming – there’s a real disappointment when she isn’t there’, she’s clearly very valued and appreciated.

Sally was thrilled to receive her award, which was justifiably well deserved, and given the invaluable work that the team do in their community, clearly without these volunteers like Sally, the SDAS would have to curtail a lot of the support that they provide.

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