Honouring the work of unsung heroes

Dorothy and Sarah Tait from Heighley Gate with Gillian and Kenneth Irvine, representing the Henry Dancer Days charity. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Dorothy and Sarah Tait from Heighley Gate with Gillian and Kenneth Irvine, representing the Henry Dancer Days charity. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Carers and volunteers from Morpeth were invited to a special garden party which honoured their hard work, dedication and commitment.

The event, held at The Alnwick Garden, recognised the valuable contribution that unsung heroes make to local communities and loved ones.

A total of 250 volunteers and carers from across the county were invited to attend the celebrations with their partners or a guest.

It was the second year that the party has taken place and it is thought to be the biggest of its kind in the region.

The Duchess of Northumberland laid on the event in her role as Lord Lieutenant of the county and she took the time to speak to the guests.

She said: “Ever since the Queen came to Alnwick in 2011 and saw the huge numbers of volunteers and carers in Northumberland, I have been keen to continue to recognise and celebrate the enormous contribution that so many people make to our communities.

“There are so many extremely generous and extraordinary individuals in Northumberland who give up their time, selflessly, to help others in need. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to them.”

Those to attend the event included fund-raisers Gillian and Kenneth Irvine. The pair raise money for Henry Dancer Days; a charity set up in memory of their grandson who died of cancer, aged just 12. The fund helps children suffering from the condition and their parents.

Gillian, from Kirkhill, said: “We feel very privileged to be invited. Everyone who has been invited to the event works so hard and it is nice for them to receive some thanks.”

Sarah Tait, who helps Heighley Gate Garden Centre support local charities, said it was an honour to be invited to the garden party.

Another attendee was Lance Robson, 99 and from Morpeth, who is founder of the Northumbrian Musical Society.

As part of the event, the Duchess presented Northumbria Army Cadet Force, The Phoenix Theatre Group, in Blyth, and Tynedale Hospice at Home with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The groups received a certificate, signed by The Queen, and an exclusive commemorative crystal.

Fittingly, the party followed National Carers Week 2015, which ended on June 14 and aimed to raise awareness of the UK’s six million unpaid carers, as well as celebrating the incredible contribution they make.