VOLUNTEERS were served up a treat when they were handed a prestigious award.
Ten volunteers who run the luncheon club at Horden Youth and Community Centre were presented with a Chairman’s Medal for Services to the Community by Durham County Council chairman, Councillor Mac Williams.
The club performs an invaluable service to pensioners in Horden, who go there for good grub and to socialise.
It has been operated by volunteers for the past 15 years.
The original club was operated by the Probation Service, but due to external circumstances this provision was withdrawn.
Centre manager and luncheon club co-ordinator Barbara Dunn said: “This left us with something of a problem.
“We had an established group of senior citizens who looked forward to coming into the centre, being provided with a healthy two-course meal and the opportunity to socialise with their peers.
“To address this, the chairman, secretary, treasurer and members of the management committee at that time decided to take on this responsibility, and since that time have volunteered for five hours every week for the past 15 years.”
In recognition of their efforts, the volunteers were nominated to receive the award by Councillor Paul Stradling, who represents Horden on Durham County Council, and the centre itself.
The club also arranges outings and events like bingo and Christmas parties for the 35 pensioners who attend.
Mrs Dunn said: “Sometimes this could be the only hot meal some pensioners will have that day. It gets them out and they can meet friends
“We are very proud of our volunteers without whom this club would be unable to operate.”
Coun Williams said: “It is a pleasure to hand over the award of the Chairman’s Medal to a dedicated and deserving group of individuals.
“These people are volunteers who do much for this area and in particular for those most in need.
“Quite frankly I cannot think of any more deserving recipients of the Chairman’s Medal – those involved in the luncheon club are dedicated people whose only thought is to care for those less fortunate than themselves.”
Margaret Robinson is chairman of the club committee, Georgina Phillips is secretary, Florence Wilson is treasurer, Barbara Dunn is co-ordinator and other members are Joe Phillips, Mary Molyneux, Daree Hyde, Jean Peart, George Robinson and Leanne Fickling.