“Though I am 73 in August I will not stop volunteering, I love it" - Outward volunteer wins prestigious Hackney Civic Award

25th May 2017

We Love Hackney!

We couldn't be more proud of one of our volunteers, who picked up a much-deserved award at the 2017 I Love Hackney Mayor's Civic Awards at the town hall. The award is particularly well timed, as we approach national Volunteers' Week, which starts on the 1st June.

Felicia Ogunleye is a volunteer befriender at our Hackney Volunteer & Befriending Service. This is our vital service aimed at tackling loneliness and social isolation in the borough. We match volunteers with people who need help and support to maintain independence, to recover from illness or to become more involved in their local community.

Felicia is a model befriender! She checks in with as many as 20 beneficiaries every week and nothing is ever too much effort. Marcia, who is our Senior Volunteer Coordinator, put Felicia forward for the award in the first place and sums up her contributions perfectly:

"She always goes above and beyond her duty. She never misses her volunteering duties. She's always smiling even when she has problems of her own."

Felicia started volunteering in Nigeria during the 1990s – and last night's award marks the second time she's been recognised for her efforts over the years. In 1999 she was voted best volunteer for her chairmanship at the Nigerian Red Cross. She's now a fundraising officer for the British Red Cross, where she's helped out since 2000.

Asked if her mobility issues were a burden, Felicia said:

"As long as I can get up in the morning and help, I'm very happy"

We are hugely grateful to Felicia for everything she does for the Hackney Volunteer & Befriending Service. She is a lifeline for many of our beneficiaries and we are very lucky to have her.