This year, 2014, has been chaos. I will post a full review in a later post but recently I have been reminded that what I do in the community makes a difference. In 2011 I had the honour of being presented with a Gold Civic Award for my community work, namely my involvement with Thatcham Historical Society, the Peter Allen Memorial Lectures (which I established) and Thatcham Vision. This year though I have been involved with all three but also a great deal with Heartstart Thatcham which I established in May 2013. If you have not heard about it we are a group of volunteers who teach Emergency Life Support (ELS) skills for free to members of the public. To date we have had 166 people complete the course. For this I was given, earlier in the year, an award, West Berkshire Learner Achievement Awards 2014 - Inspiring Others. Then more recently I was given the Sovereign Community Award 2014 for my work with Heartstart Thatcham.
I don't do my volunteering work to be thanked or for awards but to make a difference. I have knowledge and I like to share that knowledge. In the case of Heartstart Thatcham that knowledge could mean that a life might be saved. Whilst I like to think I make a difference the awards help to show that what I do is appreciated and people do see it as making a difference. To continue making a difference, a team I chair (a sub-group of Heartstart Thatcham) we have also started to roll out Public Access Defibrillators (see main picture), see full details here.