Noel Dawes, a long serving volunteer at the Society’s supported home in Sevenoaks, was presented the charity’s Spirit of Abbeyfield Award at the annual ceremony on 28th September.
The Society’s Spirit of Abbeyfield award ceremony takes place each year at Hempstead House in Sittingbourne and welcomes staff who have achieved long service or NVQs throughout the year.
As well as the certificate presentation, the event also recognises one of the Society’s 500 employees or volunteers, who has gone above and beyond with their commitment to older people.
This year’s winner, Noel Dawes, was chosen for his exceptional contribution to residents at the Society’s supported home in Riverhead, St Mary’s, where he has volunteered and supported the residents for over 30 years.
In a video made for the event, residents, Noel’s family and AKS staff commented on his dedicated involvement and praised him for visiting each week and getting involved with anything from reading to residents, listening to their troubles, doing gardening and cleaning out gutters. Noel also arranges for school children to visit and helps residents with their daily lives. All interviewees agreed that the home would not be the same without him, with the residents adding that they would feel “lost”.
Upon receiving his award, a rather surprised Noel commented: “This is a total surprise, I had no idea. Of course, it is true that you receive no financial reward for volunteering but you are rewarded in other ways, I have met so many fascinating people and I cannot recommend getting involved with volunteering enough.”