Garden party in Harrogate celebrates volunteers

Magician Paul Derek at SOP garden party at Southlands nursing and residential home.  Picture: Katalin Markos

Magician Paul Derek at SOP garden party at Southlands nursing and residential home. Picture: Katalin Markos

Harrogate charity Supporting Older People (SOP) celebrated its volunteers with a garden party.

Attended by volunteers working with the charity, trustees, full time staff, and the Mayor of Harrogate Coun Mike Newby (Lib Dem), the garden party was held at BUPA’s Southlands nursing and residential home.

The highlight of the day was the awards ceremony, where certificates handed out by the mayor to thank volunteers for all their contributions to the charity as part of national volunteer’s week.

Director at SOP Kate Rogata said on the day: “The main part of today is to thank all our wonderful volunteers for all the wonderful work they do for us throughout the year and over the years.

“We wouldn’t exist without our volunteers and we can even now offer benefits advice and a secreterial service if people want it because we have got people who have those skills.

“We wanted to to say thank you for all that they have done.”

As part of the awards Southlands donated an award for volunteer of the year, which went to Roz Marsden.

Kate said: “We thought long and hard for who we should select and we have chosen somebody who is an absolute stalwart of the organisation and a real linchpin of the Supporting Older People family.”

Southlands home manager Susan Sowden said: “Without people like Roz what would we do? They make life much better for our older people.”

Guests at Southlands, along with residents who were free to attend, also enjoyed a magic act before the ceremony as magician Paul Derek pulled ducks, Jacobean pigeons, and an owl out of empty boxes and a pile of handkerchiefs.

There was also a raffle held which raised around £75. Southlands donated the money to SOP and have asked BUPA to double the amount, providing the charity with about £150. In one of his last official events as mayor, Coun Newby also said he would be donating to SOP soon himself.

“I hope that in the not to distant future I shall be able to come to an SOP event with a cheque for you to keep up the good work,” he said on the day.

“It has been great to be able to support all the work you do.”

Out of the 70 volunteers supporting the charity, including trustees and fundraisers, around 15 received a certificate for their efforts.

Home visiting scheme manager at SOP Anne Alblas said: “This day is to celebrate volunteers week and to bring everyone together.

“We thought it would be nice to have certificates presented even though some are very modest and just want to do their role.”




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