Award honour for charity champion
6:00am Friday 4th July 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Dedicated volunteer Shirley Jones has received a regional award from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) for her support and work for the charity over the past 25 years.
Mrs Jones, 79, of Horton, near Devizes, was given the fundraising volunteer of the year award by the BHF.
Her involvement with the BHF began shortly after her husband’s unexpected death after surgery in 1987. She was advised by the family doctor that the BHF was thinking of establishing a branch in Devizes.
To her surprise, having been unable to attend the first meeting, she found that she had been voted in as secretary, a position she has held for the last 25 years.
She said: “I was absolutely shocked and delighted to have been given such a prestigious title as there are so many worthy volunteers who give their time to the BHF.
“I have made some wonderful friends and have so many lovely memories. Each year we have a collection day in Devizes and I am always grateful for the generosity of local people.
“This year the Devizes Branch has been responsible for channelling just over £9,000 to the BHF, which is a huge achievement. I would encourage anyone to volunteer for the BHF as it is such a rewarding experience.”
Mrs Jones, who has six grandchildren, is also busy in her parish where she is the Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for Horton, Coate and Bishops Cannings. She was clerk of the parish council for 11 years, secretary at Bishops Cannings Primary School from 1971 to 1981 and has been the secretary of Bishops Cannings Parish Hall for the past 30 years.
Alison Rosier, community fundraising manager for the BHF, said: “I am delighted that we can recognise Shirley’s commitment. She is always at the forefront of all events with the Devizes BHF fundraising branch and seems to effortlessly juggle numerous tasks at one time to help bring in as much money as possible.”
Tony Batchelor, chairman of the Devizes branch of BHF, said “Shirley’s award is richly deserved. I am very fortunate to be so well supported in the Devizes Branch. Last year David Billett won the award in recognition of his contribution so I really was not expecting another member of the branch to honoured in this way. It is a measure of the regard in which Shirley is held.
“Not only does she support us, she is also very active elsewhere in and around Horton.”