Awards night for Rushden volunteers

Mayor of Rushden Richard Lewis, Gill Sharp, John Richardson, Sarah Peacock, Lindsey Burch, Rick Watson,  Rachel Roberts, Sally Fordyce on behalf of Wendy Asbery, Simon Peacock and Fay Caddick
Mayor of Rushden Richard Lewis, Gill Sharp, John Richardson, Sarah Peacock, Lindsey Burch, Rick Watson, Rachel Roberts, Sally Fordyce on behalf of Wendy Asbery, Simon Peacock and Fay Caddick
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A volunteer who gives all his spare time to volunteering has been honoured for his efforts.

Rick Watson was tearful when he was awarded the Susan Hollowell Award for his volunteering over the past three years.

He is a driver for Serve, which supports older people in the Rushden and surrounding area, and gives all his spare time to the Rushden-based charity.

As well as taking clients out for trips, pub lunches and outings several times a week, he also offers his skills as a handy man and will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist anyone involved with Serve.

He said: “I was surprised to win, and I had a few tears.”

Rick said this time of year was difficult for him as it was the time he lost his wife five years ago, but volunteering at Serve had really helped him.

He added: “I have made so, so many friends at Serve, it’s unbelievable.

“This lot keep me going.

“If it wasn’t for Serve, I don’t know what I’d do.”

Rick, who lives in Rushden, was nominated eight times for the annual award organised by Serve in memory of Susan Hollowell, who died in 2002 aged 63.

She was a committed volunteer in the town and chairman of Northamptonshire and Rushden Age Concern.

She also helped to set up Serve.

Diane Eaton, prevention and volunteer co-ordinator for Serve, said not only does the charity benefit from Rick’s work, he gets a lot out of it himself too.

She added: “Three years ago, Rick came along and the clients absolutely love him, as do the staff.

“He’s very well thought of.”

The award, now in its 13th year, was presented at the Sing for Serve carol concert at Park Road Baptist Church, Rushden, on Tuesday.

The church was packed for the event, including 140 children from local schools.

A total of £309.55 was raised by the event, which will go to help Serve and its work in the area.

Other nominees

Barbara Nichols for being a ‘ray of sunshine’ on Serve’s reception

Violet Skinner for her work with Mind

Fay Caddick for her work with Higham Ferrers’ Library Sewing Group

Wendy Asbery and the members of Wellingborough & Rushden Macmillan Committee

Lindsey Burch for her work with Action for Aspergers and work in Thrapston

Gill Sharp for volunteering at Whitefriars Junior School

John Richardson for his work at the Phoenix Resource Centre