TWO volunteering sisters have won a national award for their tireless work in a sheltered housing scheme and the local Blyth community.
Shirley Hamilton and Yvonne Morgan moved into Athlone Court, a sheltered scheme run by Guinness Care and Support, last year and have taken the place by storm, organising a variety of fundraising events and activities for the residents.
And now they have won one of six STAR awards handed out by Guinness Care and Support designed to recognise people who are doing good work in their local communities.
They were given £100 and a certificate.
“I suppose we’re quite a force between us but we both enjoy it,” said 66-year-old Shirley.
“They are a very nice bunch of people here and it just comes naturally to get involved.”
Shirley, who is a cook by trade, volunteers at the lunch club and is always baking for birthdays and other events, even catering for a 90th birthday party recently.
Between the two sisters they baked 49 Christmas cakes for residents at the scheme – and Yvonne gave so many away she did not have one left for herself.
“It just snowballed, one person asked me to make a cake for them and then lots of others started asking too,” said the 65-year-old.
“I baked them and Shirley decorated them and they were all different.
“It’s just nice for the residents to know they have someone they can come to if they need anything cooking or knitting.
“It helps to create a community spirit.
“I don’t do it for the recognition I just enjoy it, but I was absolutely chuffed to hear we’d won the award.”
Manager at the scheme Anne Young praised the sisters’ efforts saying she admires them greatly.
“They both have so much energy, drive commitment and enthusiasm and are just thoroughly pleasant human beings,” she said.
“There is a real sense of pride here that they have won this well-deserved award.”