As part of Volunteer Awards Month, 87-year-old Dyson Brown has been given the Inspirational Volunteer of the Year award, recognising the difference all his calls have made to Neston Angels clients.
December is Volunteer Awards Month to round off the Year of Volunteering campaign, which is run jointly by Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) and Cheshire West and Chester Council to celebrate all the fantastic work volunteers do in their communities.
Neston Angels, which is part of Neston Community Youth Centre, brings older people living alone together with volunteers so they can spend time with each other. Volunteers often connect them with other people and services in the area.
Dyson, who is also known as Dy, has been volunteer since April 2018 and has become a poster boy for Neston Angels. He would visit the centre every Thursday to work down his list of clients to call in the local area, checking in with more than 30 people on a weekly basis.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dy has had to shield like many of the clients, but he’s insisted on making the calls from home.
Zaria Shreef, who works at Neston Community Youth Centre and nominated Dy for the award, said: “He shares a laugh and joke with clients and is always positive and caring.
“The clients have always loved their Thursday calls from Dy and he has been a brilliant tool for encouraging shy or reluctant clients to take part in more activities outside their homes.
“His skills at building rapport over the phone and his powers of persuasion – he was an insurance salesman – have often got clients to social events that would have been near impossible without him.
“The fact he’s carried on supporting clients during the pandemic shows what a fantastic volunteer and support he is to our community.”
The Inspirational Volunteer of the Year award has been sponsored by Chester Lions Club.