Customers of Bury social care provider Persona have been commended for nearly 10 years’ service as part of a volunteering project.
Graham Whitham and Elizabeth Morrison both regularly attend Elton Community Centre, where Persona runs day provision services for adults with learning disabilities.
As well as taking part in activities at the centre, they have been supported to access volunteering opportunities across Bury for nearly a decade.
Graham and Elizabeth, who are both aged 60, recently retired from their volunteering roles which were based with Bury Council.
Since 2009 the pair have helped out with a number of communications and promotional campaigns, providing administrative support to the council’s marketing team.
Nearly 60 Persona customers with learning disabilities have taken up volunteering roles as part of the project - helping out in charity shops, on gardening projects and in children’s day nurseries.
Staff and customers recently held a retirement party for Elizabeth and Graham to celebrate their achievements as volunteers.
Keen gardener Graham has now been given a greenhouse which has been installed at the Elton community centre for him to grow fruit and vegetables for staff and customers. And he hopes to use his extra free time to pursue his gardening interests in the coming years.
Kat Sowden, Managing Director of Persona Care and Support, said: “Persona’s volunteering programme for customers has been a huge success and has provided some incredibly enriching experiences for the people we support.
“This was a programme we inherited from Bury Council when we took on adult social care provision two years ago. It was something we were keen to grow and develop, and the work of people like Graham and Elizabeth is a shining example of what’s been achieved.
“Volunteer placements, such as the ones they have undertaken with Bury Council, give people a chance to play an active part in community life. They have helped many of our customers to grow in confidence, improve their skills and widen their experiences. Graham and Elizabeth are taking a well earned rest having now retired from their roles. I’d like to commend them on their hard work, dedication and commitment.
“Volunteering has helped them, but it has also given them a sense that they are contributing to society and giving something back to their community. It’s been a hugely rewarding experience for everyone involved.”