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Surbiton Veterans’ Charity Celebrates its Volunteers


27th April 2017 – Every year, The Royal Star & Garter Homes in Surbiton invites their volunteers to an awards ceremony and buffet tea party, to thank them for taking the time to share their skills and friendship with the disabled veterans who live in the Home. This year, 15 volunteers were presented with certificates to recognise their valued contribution, eight of whom received an award for providing over 20 years’ service.


Chief Executive Andy Cole presented the awards to the volunteers. “The support we receive from each and every one of our volunteers is vital in helping to provide our residents with the top quality of care The Royal Star & Garter Homes are renowned for. We are extremely grateful for the amount of support the volunteers provide to our residents and today is a time to acknowledge their expertise and their efforts.”


New volunteer Jane Durgan commented, “The residents are so lovely and you just go with the flow. What the veterans have done is amazing and it’s a privilege to make a difference to their day.”


Rosemarie Swinfield has volunteered at the Surbiton home for the past two years and is always looking for new ideas to benefit the residents. She said, “This is a shining example of what a home should be.”


John Parvin has been a volunteer with the Charity for 24 years, and in his time has helped with many trips and outings. John runs the NAAFI wagon, organises skittle games, and regularly assists with craft projects. He also built the mini golf course which the residents enjoy greatly. John explained his reasons for volunteering for such a long time: “The joy of meeting the disabled residents and how they get over their problems. The fun you have here is unbelievable.”


Activities and Volunteer Manager Raquel Pena Aristizabal, who coordinated this year’s awards ceremony, felt the day unfolded perfectly, “This is a very proud day for me. The volunteers are my extended family, I really like the way they look after the residents. They create beautiful relationships. Today is a very tiny opportunity to say a massive thank you for what they do.”