Proud Winners of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Our Caring Hero Finalists

 

Our Caring Hero – Finalists

GAYLE WHALLEY

I think she is an incredible person. She puts her heart into everything she does, she cares more about others than anyone I know or have known. She had had a difficult few years, and through it all was always there to help me, my daughter and other people. She runs the night shelter at freedom church and goes the extra mile to ensure the homeless get fed hot food every night, as well as making pack lunches for them during the day. For Christmas she ensured every homeless person who attends the night shelter received a present and made the festive period a truly special time for them. Her heart goes into everything no matter what it is, she arranges for volunteers to stay at the night shelter with the homeless, plans all of their meals for every day of the week, has arranged fundraising events in order to give them an extra special time and to be there for them during any difficulties and trials she faces. She in my eyes is a true hero and plenty of people wouldn't be where they are without her and all the work she does.

 

SHEILA FALLON

Sheila lives in Birtle & locally is always the first person the community turn to. She is a mother to all the younger community, a sister and friend to others. In the last 18 months, after recovering from heart surgery, she went on to raise money for the Tickers charity who support heart surgery rehab, organising a hike through Birtle for over 40 people. She has never fully recovered from this, experiencing circulation, breathing and heart problems continually. She is also now carer for her sister who is terminally ill with cancer, just 15 years older than her. She visits every day to shop, clean, comfort, support and care. She arranges doctor’s appointments and cleans her. This caring has increased hugely as her sister’s condition has worsened. On top of this, her sister in law was recently taken after being diagnosed with cancer-it was a quick death of just a few weeks, leaving my mother to now care for her brother too, who suffers from dementia and his daughter, who, tragically, now only has 18 months left to live; also diagnosed with cancer. As a result, my mother is now supporting 2 people with cancer and one with dementia daily; visits, appointments, chemo, funeral arrangements, care homes and more. On top of this, she is their only familial connection and support. Alongside all of this, she continues to raise money for charities; local and otherwise, she is a grandma for 4 amazing children, and a mother to two lads who she cares for hugely. She never fails to smile, she is a rock for anyone who should need her and she will always be just around the corner with a brew and a hug without asking questions and without hesitation. She truly is a gem in Bury and her efforts often go unnoticed and unrewarded. I’ve struggled to find a way to truly show my mum how much she is appreciated and I have no doubt that this would at least go some way to rewarding her constant & unwavering support and care for others.

 

SUSAN BERESFORD

I’m nominating Sue for this award as she is always going above and beyond for the children she looks after. Sue is always looking for ways to support her children and treats them as her own. She has supported me and my family through a tough time. I suffer from anxiety and in the past I have been off work due to this, Sue allowed me to stay with her for the day, she looked after me whilst my husband worked as I felt too fragile to be on my own. She offered to look after our little girl whilst my uncle was dying and my husband was working late. She did this out of the goodness of her heart. She never judges and always listens to my problems. My daughter has learnt so much and has become such a kind and caring little girl thanks to Sue. She is like family to us now and I know I can rely on her to look after my daughter. Sue provides so many opportunities for her children she takes them to the park, baby classes, forest days and mixes with other childminders to provide as much experience for her children. I would be lost without Sue in our lives and I know the other children love her as much as my little girl does. Sue has been a childminder for about 10 years.