Pensioner given special award for 65-year service to the British Red Cross (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Pensioner given special award for 65-year service to the British Red Cross
11:00am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
A PENSIONER from Bridport who has given 65 years service to the British Red Cross received a long service award at the charity’s forum.
Marjorie Lathey, 81, has volunteered to the service for three quarters of her life after signing up when she was 16 in 1948.
Mrs Lathey, who was made Bridport’s honorary townswoman following her continued contributions to local causes, was given a standing ovation by fellow Red Cross volunteers and staff at the charity’s Dorset volunteer forum held at Weymouth College.
She said: “I have loved every minute of it and I will hopefully be continuing for a long time to come. People who use the service are so grateful and that helps me, because I am helping them. It gives me great satisfaction.”
Mrs Lathey moved to West Bay in 1939 following the death of her mother, and started volunteering for the Red Cross in 1948.
She had been volunteering for the Poppy Collection when she was approached by Red Cross, and has given up her time for both charities every year since then, She has also been volunteering once a week for the Red Cross Mobility Aids service since it started in 1984.
Based at the Youth Centre in Gundry Lane, Bridport, the service loans wheelchairs and other aids to people in need, operating on Tuesdays between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
Mrs Lathey said: “I wanted to do it because after my mother’s death and me moving to West Bay, my brother and I had been passed from pillar to post, and when I settled I wanted to give back to people because I could relate to them.”
Marjorie said the standing ovation had surprised her.
She said: “I was expecting just to go up, collect my award and then walk off, and then when the lady started telling the audience what I’d done, I was surprised and the standing ovation was really nice.”
Community fundraiser for British Red Cross in West Dorset Beth Collins, said: “On behalf of the Red Cross I would like to say a very big thank you to Marjorie for the many years she has devoted to helping others.
“Through her tireless fundraising and running the mobility aids service in Bridport, she has made a real difference to those facing a crisis.”