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West Penwith volunteers celebrated for their selfless efforts at awards night

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

Pam Smith was praised for her work in community safety. Mike Smith also received recognition.

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TWO DEDICATED volunteers were recently recognised for their selfless work helping others last month.

Pam Smith, from Penzance, and Mike Smith, of Pendeen – who are not related – were honoured at this year's Cornwall Celebrates Volunteering Awards for their contributions.

Mrs Smith claimed the Community Safety Volunteer Award, sponsored by Devon and Cornwall Police, as she continues to spend time offering her services at West Cornwall Women's Aid (WCWA).

After 11 years' work Mrs Smith said the award was lovely and a crystal bowl, given in commemoration, has taken "pride of place on the mantelpiece".

"I was absolutely chuffed to bits," she said. "It was very lovely to receive."

The charity stalwart runs a 'rag rugging' group – making tapestries with fabrics – in Penzance. She said the work helps women who have been subjected to domestic violence and abuse by doing something creative and communal.

"It's just a way of getting together, doing something they all have in common," she said.

"We just relax and talk about everyday things."

Mr Smith was recognised for his efforts driving minibuses for Age UK and a hospital transport service. He said he was really happy to get the Volunteer Driver honour this year.

"It must be getting on eight or nine years now," he said of his time spent volunteering.

"My wife is registered disabled, which meant I had to take early retirement to look after her – I wanted to give something back."

Mr Smith, who is also the chairman of Age UK, Penzance, deputy station manager at the Coastwatch at Gwennap Head and a trustee for a number of other organisations, said he was happy his driving does not go unnoticed.

"I was very happy," he said. "It was nice to get a bit of recognition.

"I don't think anyone does it for that – but it's nice to get a pat on the back."

Also celebrating after scooping the Host Organisation of the Year Award was WCWA. The charity was commended for the "excellent way in which they support and develop their volunteers".

Ian Jones, chief executive of Volunteer Cornwall, said: "This is the highlight of the year for us, a chance to shine the spotlight on Cornwall's volunteers and show off what they do."

Both volunteers were presented with certificates and bowls by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho, at a ceremony at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay.

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