Norwood volunteers honoured at JVN Awards

2 January 2020

The efforts and achievements of two Norwood volunteers were celebrated at the Jewish Volunteering Network’s annual awards ceremony in London on 4 December.

The Volunteer of the Year award was handed to Peter Gibson – who also won an Unsung Hero award at Norwood’s own Volunteer Recognition Awards in September. Since 2008, Peter has provided support to the Tager Centre, one of our residential homes in Ravenswood, Berkshire, which specialises in supporting people who are on the autistic spectrum.

Peter contributes two days a week of his own time to come into the home and support the service. He is extremely reliable and conscientious, and maintains an ever-helpful approach to completing the work that is vital to the smooth running of the home. His support has become essential to the Tager Centre’s team.

Peter is also one of the editors of The Tager Times and nothing gives him more pleasure than being able to write stories for the newsletter, which in turn gives so much pleasure to Tager residents. He has built strong friendships with the people who live in the home, some of whom are non-verbal. He understands the needs of the individuals and has become a friend and companion to them all. Well done, Peter!

The indomitable Flora Frank, meanwhile, was handed the Lifetime Achievement award.

Flora ran her first marathon at 53 and is now a 76-year-old great-grandmother, who just happens to have completed an astonishing 37 full marathons and two half-marathons for Norwood. Flora – who has firsthand knowledge of the work Norwood does; her late brother Nissim was a resident at Ravenswood – says she is “humbled, honoured and proud” to have picked up yet another shiny trophy, but is also keen to point out that she does this because Norwood “gives people a chance in life, treats them with dignity and allows them to fulfil and go beyond their potential”. Most importantly, she says: “It is a privilege to help Norwood and, believe me, I get more out than I put in.” All we can say to that is, Flora, we couldn’t do what we do without people like you.