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Senior citizens vote Helen their unsung hero

This article was published in January 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Helen Wilkinson (left) with Ellen and Mike Lewis

Each Wednesday, Helen Wilkinson, her loyal deputy, Joan Home, and their team of tireless volunteers welcome pensioners from Edlesborough, Dagnall, Eaton Bray and Slapton to Northall Village Hall where they join local old folk for their weekly get together.

Mrs Wilkinson, 57, has been leading the team for 11 years and her dedication has won her a Bucks County Council `Unsung Heroes' Award as well as the admiration and affection of the senior citizens.

She was nominated for the award by Mike and Ellen Lewis who wrote to county council chairman, Cllr Robert Woollard, on behalf of the group to tell him about the warmth and friendship she brings into the members' lives.

"Every Wednesday, we eagerly wait for the transport, which will take us to Northall, for we know we are going to spend an enjoyable day with friends," they wrote.

"That we will have a lovely homecooked meal and above all will not feel old and a nuisance.

"For many of us it is the only day out in the week.

"Our grateful thanks and blessings go to Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Horne, whose kindness and effort makes it all possible.

"We cannot find praise enough, for who else would be there to greet us, ask how we are, whether we have had a good week, did we need any help with anything?

"We feel that Helen puts all her strength into the Age Concern club, always kind and caring, listening about our illnesses and helping with any problems we may have, and we are of one mind who is our unsung hero."

Mrs Wilkinson said she had no idea she had been nominated for the award and was "shocked and surprised" to receive a letter inviting her to the presentation ceremony.

"I couldn't believe it and thought it was a spoof at first," she said.

Mrs Wilkinson said she was looking forward to the ceremony, but admitted to being "a little bit nervous."

"I shall be accepting the award on behalf of the whole team, the cooks, the mini-bus drivers, Joan and everyone who helps make sure the members enjoy themselves," she said.

"Without their commitment we wouldn't be able to carry on."

Source: Mick King, Leighton Buzzard Observer, 9 January 2007