Award for Harrogate’s 98-year-old volunteer

John Shannon 98 years old  from Harrogate who still volunteers .(GL1002/42d)
John Shannon 98 years old from Harrogate who still volunteers .(GL1002/42d)
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A 98-year-old volunteer has been honoured by 10 Downing Street with a Points of Light award for outstanding individuals making a difference.

John Shannon has spent more than 80 years volunteering since he turned 17 and joined the League of Nations Union Society in Essex.

I do a little bit of visiting and I do enjoy that. I am pleased to be able to do just a little. I am lucky.

Volunteer John Shannon

Shortlisted for the Britain’s Best Volunteer award in 2014, and recognised by the Duchess of Cornwall as the Royal Voluntary Service’s Diamond Champion, he has now received one of the government’s Points of Light awards.

He said: “I was pleased they noticed the fact that we do volunteer work.

“My contention is that if everybody who comes to retirement age gives just a little time a week it would completely transform the lives of most older and disabled people across the country and we would be the envy of the world.

“That is my attitude towards it, though I don’t do a great deal now. I have never pretended I have ever done a great deal but I have done some things since I was 17 and I am now nearly 99 and I think that’s what interests people.”

Mr Shannon’s most recent efforts have been spent visiting homes as part of the Carers’ Time Off scheme with the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP). But he is modest about what he achieves.

“I haven’t done great works and I am in awe of people and the time and effort they put into some things,” he said.

“I do a little bit of visiting and I do enjoy that. I am pleased to be able to do just a little. I am lucky.”

Lizzie Hughes from HELP said: “Not only is John a fantastic ambassador for Carers’ Time Off and the other charities he is involved with locally, but he is an incredible ambassador for volunteering in general.”