Star volunteers hailed by royalty

Picture by Edward Moss www.edwardmoss.co.uk'All rights reserved. 'WRVS awards Birmingham
Picture by Edward Moss www.edwardmoss.co.uk'All rights reserved. 'WRVS awards Birmingham
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Two community heroes are set to receive royal recognition after they scooped gongs at a glittering awards ceremony.

Jill Tunnicliffe, of Pilsley, near Clay Cross, and Audrey Carlin, fromMorton, were among 60 outstanding individuals from across the Midlands to be hailed for their voluntary work at the WRVS - a charity which helps older people - Diamond Champions awards in Birmingham last week.

Picture by Edward Moss www.edwardmoss.co.uk'All rights reserved. 'WRVS awards Birmingham

Picture by Edward Moss www.edwardmoss.co.uk'All rights reserved. 'WRVS awards Birmingham

The overjoyed pair were honoured with a specially-designed Diamond Champions pin and will receive a certificate signed by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who are joint patrons of the awards.

Dedicated Mrs Tunnicliffe spends the majority of her day helping individuals and working with a number of church groups.

She visits and supports many people, including taking them to hospital and shopping for them, and helps run church groups for the elderly.

The much-loved 68-year-old said: “I love helping people – it’s something I’ve always tried to do.

“People are very appreciative but I didn’t expect to be recognised in this way – it’s lovely but I just get on with it; volunteering is, and always will be, a part of me.”

Mrs Carlin helped establish the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Tinnitus Support Group in 1986.

Over the years, the kind 69-year-old has helped and supported scores of people who suffer from the devastating condition, typified by a hissing, buzzing or ringing sound in the ear.

Mrs Carlin, who suffers from tinnitus herself, devotes much of her time developing the support group as well as answering helpline calls and providing counselling.

She said: “I feel very pleased and honoured to have received this award.

“I set up the group as I wanted to help people get over tinitus and I’m pleased to have accepted this award on behalf of everyone I’ve helped.”

The awards were held to honour the country’s volunteers in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year and attracted thousands of nominations.