Honiton’s Diamond Champions honoured

PUBLISHED: 12:34 09 October 2012

Mary Bolshaw.

Mary Bolshaw.

Archant

Volunteers ‘truly deserving’ of WRVS accolade.

Two ‘truly deserving’ people from Honiton have been named Diamond Champions for their outstanding volunteer work.

Mary Bolshaw, 69, and Vic Bowsher MBE, 80, could now be honoured at St James Palace next month.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will host a celebration event, organised by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS).

Before then, on October 20, Mary and Vic, along with 58 other Diamond Champions from across the South West, will be presented with specially designed pins and certificates signed by the royal couple at the Marriott Hotel in Bristol. At that event, 10 people will be chosen to attend the reception in London.

Mary, who was nominated for the award in recognition of her infectious enthusiasm for Hospiscare, told the Midweek Herald: “It was a wonderful surprise.

“As always, one never thinks that you are deserving of the award but, as you can imagine, I’m absolutely delighted.

“All my volunteer work is for the Honiton Hospiscare Support Group, with which I’ve been associated for the last 15 years and before that, 30 years ago, helping with fund-raising for the actual hospice.

“As always, it’s never one person’s effort but due, in no small amount, to the team I’ve got around me.”

Mary is a volunteer driver for Hospiscare but is best known for her amazing cookery skills.

From a pudding club, held in her own home, she went on to cook up lunches and suppers in the Mackarness Hall - one of Hospiscare’s most successful local ventures.

Mr Browsher is a volunteer and company secretary for the East Devon Volunteer Support Agency.

He is also chairman of Honiton Senior Voice and a leading light at Honiton Memory Cafe.

His extensive knowledge of dementia means he is in demand as a guest speaker and trainer.

He is also a keen supporter of the British Red Cross, Honiton Hospital League of Friends, the Alzheimer’s Society, Casualties Union, TRIP Community Transport Association, East Devon Carers’ Forum, Honiton Locality Health and Care Team and the South West Airfields Heritage Trust, to name a few.

In naming him a Diamond Champion, the WRVS said: “When he steps away from a steering group, he remains on the committee to maintain a presence and offer advice when asked.

“He is a very kind, humble gentleman.”

He is so humble, he never broadcasts the fact that he is a Member of the British Empire.

Amanda Whitlock, area manager for the WRVS, said: “They are truly deserving of the honour and it is justified recognition of the selfless work they do in their communities to help others.”

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