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Caring Shirley honoured for 46 years of voluntary service

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 July 2018

Shirley Taylor, left, sharing tea and cake with 98-year-old Marjorie at a club meeting. Photo: RVS

Shirley Taylor, left, sharing tea and cake with 98-year-old Marjorie at a club meeting. Photo: RVS

Archant

A Meopham woman has been officially recognised after dedicating her life to looking after others for almost half a century.

Shirley Taylor has been helping out at the Royal Voluntary Service for 46 years.

Now the 84-year-old has been awarded a Kent Association of Local Councils award for her significant contribution to the community.

Shirley has lived in the village all her life, and almost 50 of those have been helping others.

The club was set up in 1947 and meets twice a month at Chinery Court. Some 15 attend to enjoy a variety of activities including lunches and outings all organised and cooked by Shirley.

The dedicated pensioner is now looking for others to come forward and be just like her by volunteering for a few hours a month to her help her run the Over 60s club, which she presently does all by herself.

After the nomination for the award by Meopham Parish Council, Shirley was presented it by the chairman of KALC Sarah Barker.

As if all that was not enough, Shirley was also nominated for her tireless involvement at Meopham Green Baptist Church.

Here, she organises lunches, arranged flowers and helps at the Sunday School as well as other village celebrations.

Shirley said: “I’ve always had a love for older people, they know more than I do and I love listening to their stories. The knowledge I get from them is fascinating. It’s lovely to see them happy and to know they go away happy and have had a break. To receive the award was completely unexpected. I was thrilled and overwhelmed. I’ve always been happy to do things behind the scenes, so to receive the award was a huge surprise.”

And Sarah-Jane Walsh, the Royal Voluntary Service Community Development and Operations Manager added: “She is an incredible example of the hard work and dedication of all our volunteers.”

She added: “This club is vital and without new volunteers it’s going to be difficult to keep it running.”

To join Shirley call 0300 012 0261 or for other volunteering opportunities in the area try www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk, or Karen.hilson@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

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