Volunteers recognised for their service to Sunderland

Presentation to Vera Loraine volunteer at Sunderland Carers for 17 years at Carers event at Weaside Golf Club, on Friday. Pictured with Vera are Graham Burt chief eexecutive of Sunderland Carers Centre and guests Coun Iain Kay and Coun Barbara McClennan

Presentation to Vera Loraine volunteer at Sunderland Carers for 17 years at Carers event at Weaside Golf Club, on Friday. Pictured with Vera are Graham Burt chief eexecutive of Sunderland Carers Centre and guests Coun Iain Kay and Coun Barbara McClennan

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VOLUNTEERS were given the care they deserve during an event to celebrate their work.

Sunderland Carers’ Centre has a team of 70 volunteers which it relies on to help its staff offer support.

The unpaid helpers perform services from packing newsletters to sitting on the board of directors.

Workers threw a celebration at Wearside Golf Club to acknowledge their work.

The centre’s chief executive Graham Burt attended the afternoon tea, as did Sunderland city councillor Iain Kay.

Graham said: “Without their contribution, we simply wouldn’t be able to do as much for carers.

“The range of tasks they take on is so wide and they bring such a wealth of experience and expertise to whatever they do – anything from fund-raising, running support groups for carers, to providing clerical support at the centre.”

Former carer of nine years and volunteer of 13 years Vera Loraine, 79, of Red House, received an award for her services to the centre.

The grandmother of three, who works on reception, said: “It was a shock. I wasn’t expecting anything like it. You do it because you want to, but it’s nice because it means they must have taken notice of what I do.”

Vera, a widow and mother of one, said volunteering gives her a reason to get up.

“My husband had dementia and my mum broke her hip in a fall which brought on dementia,” she said.

“I went through a really bad patch.

“A social worker dragged me to the carers’ centre, I cried my eyes out and from then on it was me and them together.

“When my caring role came to an end, I was lost, I had time to spare.

“It gets you out of the house and meeting people.

“I really enjoy it and my family agree with me doing it because it keeps my mind active.

“It keeps me busy, and keeps me active, and I’ve made a lot of friends.”