Yes daaarling, it's official, I'm a star. Well in the Borough of Southwark at least!
Jim Hutchinson, the volunteer co-ordinator for the Imperial War Museum put several of the HMS Belfast volunteers forward to receive a Southwark Stars Award this year and me and my mukka Ern were both accepted for our visitor interaction work on the ship, as was Dough on the conservation team and John, who assists Jim with the volunteer scheme. In fact John received a Highly Commended Award as he volunteers with 3 separate organisations and puts in many, many hours of unpaid work across London.
It was a jolly evening with a buffet (I do love a good buffet), drinks, a mariachi(?) band and a host wearing much shiny star-like bling. It was really inspiring to hear that volunteers in Southwark put in a combined total of over 70,000 hours a year - how amazing is that? I was also blown away by the huge variety of people who volunteer in Southwark despite disability, busy family or work commitments or lack of financial reward. It's not all retired folk or people with excess time on their hands, it's people who manage to squeeze something else into their schedule because they think it's important or they love what they're doing.
So, while I'm pleased for myself I'm doubly pleased for everyone else who got an award as without them many of the organisations would find it difficult if not impossible to do the work they do. Big yay to everyone!