Padiham Red Cross volunteer receives High Sheriff's award for exceptional Covid vountary work

A British Red Cross volunteer from Padiham has received a prestigious award from the High Sheriff of Lancashire in recognition of her exceptional voluntary work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Sue Holden, who began volunteering for the British Red Cross in 2003, is a volunteer with the charity’s emergency response service. She provides practical and emotional support to people affected by fires and floods. This includes providing food and clothing, supporting people to find alternative accommodation and identifying other organisations which can help.

But Sue has also been providing support specifically relating to Covid-19 since March.

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Sue said: “It was a complete shock to receive the award. I was chuffed to little mint balls! I’m under 70-years-old so I’ve been able to continue volunteering despite all the restrictions.

Sue receives her award from Gordon Low, the President of Lancashire British Red CrossSue receives her award from Gordon Low, the President of Lancashire British Red Cross
Sue receives her award from Gordon Low, the President of Lancashire British Red Cross

“During the first lockdown I delivered information leaflets to 190 households in Fylde, delivered food to refugees in and around Lancashire and Greater Manchester, volunteered at a food distribution charity in Lancaster receiving, sorting and packing items and delivering food and shopping to people self-isolating throughout Lancashire.

“I’ve been offering support to people by phone referred to us by the Council for Voluntary Services. There’s one lady I ring every day. She’s 90 and her husband died during the first lockdown. She was unable to see him when he was in hospital at the end. During one conversation she said to me ‘I can’t tell you how much of a lifesaver you are’.”

Ian Reed, senior emergency response officer for the British Red Cross in Lancashire, said: “The Red Cross emergency response team in Lancashire has some amazing volunteers, but Sue is particularly outstanding. Sue always approaches her volunteer work with vigour and enthusiasm and nothing is ever too much trouble. Sue has worked extremely hard to both maintain our business as usual response and also support our Covid-19 related work.”

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The High Sheriff of Lancashire Catherine Penny added: “It has been a pleasure to be able to recognise and thank some of those in Lancashire who have helped others in the community during the pandemic.

“I have been privileged to hear of the many ways in which people have gone well beyond what you might expect and it is particularly noteworthy when it is in a voluntary capacity. Sue Holden is one of those amazing volunteers.”