Success for CAB stalwarts is a royal affair
Motherwell & Wishaw CAB is celebrating after picking up two awards at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference.
Catherine Murphy won the Volunteer of the Year award, and Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award.
Each was presented with a silver quaich by HRH Princess Anne, who is the patron of the charity.
Catherine has devoted 22 years to Motherwell and Wishaw CAB committing in excess of 25,000 volunteer hours on the duty roster.
She has made a real difference to the lives of vulnerable residents as a volunteer advice worker, a lead tutor, on the job trainer, Volunteer Director and SQA assessor.
Catherine has supported the CAB to assist the local community with 534,799 issues, securing a client financial gain of £22,044,193 and dealing with debts totalling £59,139,763.
She has mentored, inspired and trained 780 volunteers, who have in total donated 500,000 hours of their free time to make a real difference in the community.
Catherine helped to establish the Training and Development Unit and supported advisers to complete vocational qualifications.
In addition to her set rota duties and working parties membership, Catherine makes herself available to carry out advice clinics in the psychiatric wards of University Hospital Wishaw. home visits for elderly and disabled people and reliably takes her monthly turn on the Saturday morning advice clinic to improve accessibility for disabled people.
Catherine said: “It has been a great honour and privilege to serve our community in this way as part of such a vital service.”
Thomas volunteers his service every week to the CAB Unforgotten Forces Project supporting veterans aged over 65 Project and drives faithfully to home visits across Lanarkshire.
As a former serving member of the Royal Signals (1970 – 1976) he also brings his army experience directly to the clients being visited.
His personality and humour also provide a welcome distraction from some quite challenging home visits.
Thomas also volunteers his driving services to a number of other projects supporting the vulnerable client base, taking both paid staff and volunteers to home visits, training and meetings.
He has supported the bureau to carry out more than 300 home visits to Veterans, delivered food parcels in times of crisis and represented the veterans projects at more than 40 community events.
Thomas said: “I was in need of something to occupy my time after I had been made redundant, I saw and advert for the vacancy as a CAB driver, and went into the Motherwell office to apply and see if i was suitable for the position.
“My first job was to take Ann Young out on a home visit, who was the project leader for the Chest Heart and Stroke project.
“As the the days turned into weeks going out with Ann, it really inspired me watching her on these home visits how she on very difficult days conduct her visits with so much compassion and dedication and to watch how she calmed clients as these home visits can be very stressful for them after a serious illness.
“This inspired me to try and give something back to the community, and have helped as many CAB personnel to achieve their role – even if it required out of office hours.
“I would urge anyone with a few hours a week to come in and become a volunteer as it can be so rewarding to help others ... they say there’s good in us all why not try and bring that good out.”
Just five awards in total are given out at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference, so for two of them to be awarded to Motherwell and Wishaw CAB was a thrill for the bureau‘s manager Kinga Kosakowska.
She said: “I am absolutely thrilled that not one but two of our volunteers have been recognised in this way.
“We’re all extremely proud of them both, and their awards are thoroughly deserved. We wouldn’t be able to do our work without them.
“It’s great to see them appreciated in this way, but of course I am proud of all of our volunteers and staff here.
“We provide a free, impartial and confidential support service that is always here for those who need it.”
“We have been at the heart of the local community since 1942 and we always heavily relied on the commitment from our volunteers.
“If you have time to spare and you wish to volunteer, please do not hesitate to get in touch.”
Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to apply and there is no upper age limit (adviser volunteers do need to be at least 18).
The range of volunteer roles includes: generalist advisers, administrative assistants, social policy workers, IT, graphic designers, and board members.
No previous skills or knowledge are required as full training is provided.
For further information call 01698 259305 and ask for Maria or Danielle or e-mail [email protected]