On Tuesday 12th July we were invited to attend Greenoak Volunteer of the Year Awards buffet and presentations at WWF-UK’s Living Planet Centre. We were one of 25 charities who had nominated a volunteer to be considered for this award – and are delighted to say WE WERE DECLARED THE WINNERS!
Our nominated volunteer was Armindo Lago, who was presented with a cheque for Age Concern Woking for £2,500 and a £100 cheque for himself by Lady Gill Baker, chairman of Greenoak Community Focus, in the presence of the Mayor of Woking Anne Murray.
Armindo has volunteered with us for nearly 10 years. Apart from his ‘befriending skills’ we chose Armindo for the dedication and kindness he has shown to Age Concern Woking during the time he has been connected with us. He can always be relied upon to help out at any social event being held for our clients and, a few years ago, he even helped us to deliver free logs to clients when these were donated to us by Brookwood Cemetery.
With any client allocated to him Armindo is a dedicated ‘friend’. His latest client, sadly no longer with us, had been the vicitim of several strokes and, as a result, suffered a great deal of paralyses. However Armindo managed to think up ways of playing chess and other games to keep his mind occupied. Armindo also accompanied him and his carer to medical appointments and, in the final weeks, visited him in hospital on a regular basis.
A few years back, Armindo suspected that one of his clients was being ‘conned’ by a phoney religious sect. He had no concrete proof, so there was nothing that we could do initially except keep an eye on things, so he turned detective to establish facts which were later presented to the police.
If we have a client that we know will be difficult to place, we can always rely on Armindo to call in whilst we are looking for the right permanent person. If anyone who lives near him requires an urgent lift and there is no one else to help, we know he will help out if we is able.
Armindo is the ideal volunteer for the services we offer, and we feel very blessed that he chose to volunteer with us, and very proud that his efforts have also been recognised by the wider community.