Hosted by Eddie Butler, the inaugural Older Person’s Awards organised by Age Connects Wales took place via Facebook Live on Wednesday 17th November 2021. Selected by an independent judging panel, worthy winners of the Regional Later Life Hero category were the team of volunteers at the Wellbeing Centre on Holton Road in Barry.
Nona Hexter, who manages the Age Connects Wellbeing Centre and was responsible for nominating the team of volunteers for the awards explains “We have a loyal and dedicated group of volunteers who help run the Wellbeing Centre, most of whom are of older age. Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, they could have understandably said no to returning to work. However, without exception, all of them have put others first. Without a murmur, they have worked every day when cafes have been allowed to open.
The Wellbeing Centre simply could not operate for the local community without its fantastic volunteers offering friendship and support to older people in the Vale. The volunteers have served, cleaned, chatted, opened early, closed late and been a wonderful support to the charity staff members based there. During the pandemic, many rang each other and the clients they have come to know and they always keep an eye on those who are struggling. They are an exceptional bunch of people who come together to provide a place for rest, relaxation, fun and information for anyone who pops into the centre”.
The Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale Wellbeing Centre has been a focal point for many older people in Barry, South Wales and the surrounding area for many years. Established in 1991 it is a lifeline as a place to come together to meet and make friends. The centre plays a huge role in ensuring that older people have supportive networks and contact with organisations such as Age Connects who provide invaluable help in terms of information, practical support and reassurance at a very worrying time.
Karen Fletcher, Marketing and Partnerships Manager at Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale shared “The Age Connects Wales Older Person’s Awards were established to recognise and commemorate the achievements and selfless acts of older people taking place in our local communities. The Wellbeing Centre team of volunteers and all other candidates and winners in the awards are inspirational individuals who deserve our recognition and applause. We hope that the residents of Barry and the surrounding area will pop into the Wellbeing Centre when they are in the area and enjoy a cuppa and a chat with these wonderful individuals!”.