IT was smiles all round as a trio of organisations said thank you to their volunteers.
Celebrations took place at Sunderland’s Austin House Family Centre, to honour the unpaid workers of the three groups.
The Salvation Army, Southwick Health and Community Forum and Heaven Scent alternative therapies, which are all based at the centre in Southwick, thanked 40 volunteers who support the work they do.
Volunteers aged from 18 to 70 enjoyed a buffet in the centre’s cafe and were awarded a certificate each for their dedication.
Centre manager Graham Wharton said: “The day went really well. It was just a low-key celebration to express our appreciation for what they do, because obviously they give up valuable time.
“Our longest-serving volunteer has been with us for 17 years and they are our lifeblood.
“Some work in the cafe and we have three men who do driving for us.
“Some people come in just to use the cafe, but hopefully they will feel welcome and find a place for themselves.
“They will find out what their skills base is and what they are interested in doing.”
Graham thanked Judith Patel, from Heaven Scent, Jackie Brazier, from Southwick Community Forum, and Joanne McGowan and Julie Judson, from the Salvation Army, for helping organising the event.
Anyone who would like to volunteer for any of the three groups should contact Joanne on 561 8272.