Meritorious accolade for well regarded volunteers

From left, Ponteland Mayor Carl Rawlings, Val Riley and Peter Riley. Picture by Trevor Walker.
From left, Ponteland Mayor Carl Rawlings, Val Riley and Peter Riley. Picture by Trevor Walker.

A couple who have volunteered their time for many years at a popular Ponteland community venue have received a prestigious accolade.

Peter and Val Riley help with the running of events and activities and the general upkeep of Merton Hall.

In recognition of their efforts, Ponteland Town Council presented them with its Meritorious Service Award and a bouquet of flowers at its annual meeting of local government electors.

Peter has dealt with fixing problems and maintenance and Val has been even more involved since joining the committee five or six years ago.

She started a library service and organises the volunteer rota for the kitchen.

Val said: “I also help with internal decorations, charity events and anything else that needs a bit of planning, and I became a trustee of the hall last year.

“We’re very grateful to receive this award on behalf of all the volunteers at Merton Hall.

“It’s a very important community building because it provides a lifeline for residents who live on their own.

“They come along to chat with other people, including the friendly volunteers, and enjoy the facilities here.”

Peter added: “I go along if there’s something that needs to be fixed and I like the challenge of having to find a solution for things – for example when I attached runners to the bottoms of chairs.”

As well as generally being available for residents to have a chat, enjoy some refreshments and read books, newspapers and magazines, Merton Hall is the venue for a range of community groups and sessions.

Ponteland Mayor Carl Rawlings, who presented the award, said: “Val and Peter are well regarded by the team of volunteers, they communicate well and work hard to keep Merton Hall a safe and pleasant place to visit.

“It therefore gives the town council great pleasure in presenting them with this small token of appreciation.”