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8 May 2018 Volunteer News

Ben Wadsworth: Community Champion

Sixteen-year-old Kirkwood volunteer, Ben Wadsworth, who is diagnosed with Autism, was recently awarded the Locala award for Community Work to recognise his outstanding voluntary contributions

Ben Wadsworth is a 16 year-old Year 11 pupil at Honley High School who loves reading, music and woodworks, but he is not your typical teenager.

Ben, who has been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, was awarded the Locala Award for Community Work at a recent award ceremony.

16-year-old Ben visits Kirkwood Hospice

 

With only one award up for grabs, Ben was recognised as an outstanding member of the local community and an excellent role model to other students following his voluntary contributions to the school’s Fairtrade Forum and to Kirkwood Hospice as a valued member of the charity shop in Meltham.

Giving up his spare time at weekends, evenings and school holidays and missing only two days in over two years, Ben is extremely committed to the cause and loves helping out.

Ben said: “I enjoy working at the shop and I get on well with my Manager, Becky. Sorting books and DVDs is my main job and I sort them out alphabetically and into certificate order. I also hang up clothes, work on the till and dress the shop up for special occasions.”

"It’s a two way street because Ben helps the Hospice but the Hospice also helps Ben. It’s fair to say he lives and breathes Kirkwood." Claire Bolland

Ben was determined to volunteer for Kirkwood Hospice after his Grandfather, Tom Thorley, spent his final days at the Hospice back in 2010.

Ben knew he needed to be fourteen before he could become a volunteer so he filled in an application form and began work on his fourteenth Birthday to the day.

Ben’s mum, Claire, and dad, Anthony, are extremely proud of both Ben and their connection to the Hospice.

Claire said: “Today is Ben’s first time visiting the Hospice. He will now be able to spread the word and tell people how wonderful Kirkwood Hospice is and that it’s not a sad or scary place. He could even inspire another 14-year-old boy to start volunteering!

“It’s a two way street because Ben helps the Hospice but the Hospice also helps Ben. It’s fair to say he lives and breathes Kirkwood.”

"We now have over 800 volunteers of all different ages and from all parts of the community who provide over 100,000 hours each year and Ben is playing a massive part of that. I myself couldn’t be prouder to be part of this team." Michael Crowther, Chief Executive

Kirkwood Hospice Chief Executive, Michael Crowther, was honoured to meet Ben and wanted to thank him personally for his hard work.

Michael said: “Local people coming together, volunteering their time is how it all started here and that is how it continues today.

“We now have over 800 volunteers of all different ages and from all parts of the community who provide over 100,000 hours each year and Ben is playing a massive part of that. I myself couldn’t be prouder to be part of this team. Keep up the good work, Ben.”

To find out how you can volunteer for Kirkwood Hospice, please click here or call our Volunteer Services Team on: 01484 557 900

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