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ray award worcestershire

Ray, who’s an individual we support at Lifeways, has been awarded by the High Sheriff of Worcestershire for his volunteer work.

As a volunteer of the Monday Night Club, a social club for adults with a learning disability or autism, Ray was this week awarded at the High Sheriff of Worcestershire Awards 2021 for his work supporting the club.

Ray, who lives with a learning disability and autism, received the award along with Laura and Tom, two other club volunteers. He’s been a regular member for four years – and a volunteer for the past two.

Leading role

While the club stopped its weekly disco and club meetings when the pandemic began, Ray organised small group meetings online. He plays a leading role in the club’s ‘Happy Confident Me’ sessions, which help members manage their anxiety and difficult feelings.

To help his work at the club, Ray also achieved a ‘First Aid at Work’ qualification earlier this year.

Due to current restrictions, the three winners received their awards separately, outdoors. The High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Mark Jackson OBE, said: “The three awards I give today to Laura, Tom and Ray are typical examples of that generosity and good citizenship that we see every day across our county.”

Ray, seen here with his award from the High Sheriff of Worcestershire (All photos courtesy of the Monday Night Club)

‘Honoured’

Ray said: “I am very surprised and honoured to receive this award from the High Sheriff. If it wasn’t for the Monday Night Club I would not be the person I am today.”

Helen Gill, the Monday Night Club CEO, had nominated Ray for the award.

“[Ray] is always dependable, cheerful, helpful and, during this last very difficult year for our club, a great support for other members,” said Helen.

“His authenticity and genuine caring always shine through.”

What does a High Sheriff do?

With its roots in medieval Britain, a High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal ceremonial officer who serves counties in England and Wales. High Sheriffs support the Crown and judiciary, and are often involved with the voluntary sector.

Ray’s story

In January, Ray, who’s in his twenties, moved into Bedwardine Court, a Lifeways’ supported living service in Worcestershire, made up of 20 self-contained supported living apartments.

Ray had been unhappy at a shared house at a previous service, and was delighted to finally have his own place – and his independence.

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