They've dedicated their lives to their local communities, now three volunteers from Worcestershire are to receive a Black Pear Tree Award from Worcestershire County Council for their commitment and dedication to their respective communities.
The awards, which come under the World Class Worcestershire campaign, saw several volunteers gifted with a Black Pear Tree situated within the grounds of County Hall.
The three volunteers who received the award were: Jean Wilson, Founder of New Hope Children's Charity, Mike Cusack, a volunteer with Droitwich Community Transport Service and Derick Potter, a transport volunteer with Pershore Volunteer Centre.
Jean Wilson, Founder of New Hope Children's Charity said: "I'm thrilled to have been nominated to receive a black pear tree award for my voluntary work at New Hope. The work I do involves a wide team of staff and I'd like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication to the project and also thanks to all our supporters; we appreciate their kindness too. Volunteering is rewarding and often goes unseen so to all volunteers across Worcestershire I'd say thank you to them all."
Derrick Potter added: "I enjoy being a volunteer and of use to people. Volunteering is a lovely way to put something back into the community."
The Black Pear Tree is the symbol of Worcestershire and has been since the 1600's when Queen Elizabeth 1st commanded the fruit be place on Worcestershire's flag.
During the ceremony, the volunteers were commended for their ongoing commitment and work ethic, which as a result, has seen local communities benefit for the better. All three volunteers represented Worcestershire's army of local volunteers – who provide unwavering duty and community spirit to help others.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Councillor with responsibility for Communities said: "It was a pleasure to be part of the presentation of the Black Pear tree to such well deserving charities. Community Transport is vital to every local community and it was a pleasure to acknowledge the work of the Pershore Centre. In the same light I have known about Jean and her team at New Hope since it opened. Both charities are fantastic and I was glad to celebrate their work."
National Volunteer Week which ran from Thursday 1 June to Wednesday 7 June is a dedicated week of activity and promotion headed up by the organisers, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Worcestershire County Council is committed to developing, encouraging and supporting volunteer involvement in our work. It believes that its relationship with volunteers is one of mutual responsibility, commitment and respect.
So far the Black Pear Tree Award has gifted seven pear trees to worthy recipients including Rio Olympian, Alex Gregory (MBE), Paralympians Lauren Rowles (MBE), Clare Cashmore (MBE), Rebecca Redfern, the Men's GB Wheelchair Basketball Team (collected by Head Coach Haj Bhania) and two of the remaining Canary Girls, who worked at the local munition factory in Blackpole, Worcester.
For further information about volunteering in your local community please visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20002/community_volunteering_and_act_local/994/volunteering