A CARING volunteer has been left ‘flabbergasted’ after being shortlisted for a Citizen of the Year award.
Joan Bolton has been working with The Friendship Project for some 20 years, helping disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Warwickshire.
The 80-year-old retired teacher from Warwick provides friendship to children between the aged of six and 16 and is known as an ‘older friend’.
Her hard work with the charity has lead her to be shortlisted for the Citizen of the Award at the Pride of Warwick Awards.
She said: “I have been able to go to places I wouldn’t normally have gone to and the youngsters have given me so much pleasure. It has been a joy to watch them grow and become confident, responsible and sociable young people.”
The Friendship Project say Joan – who is often joined by dog Charlie on her outings – is an integral part of their team and they are privileged to have her help.
A spokeswoman said: “It would be wonderful if Joan won, but to have got to this stage and been recognised for a lifetimes good work is still amazing.
“We at The Friendship Project are so proud of Joan and her achievements.”
If Joan scoops the award it could call for a double celebration – as the charity will this month welcome its 30th birthday.
Since it was formed in 1986 it has helped around 500 children across the county who have been referred to them needing extra support.
Many of the users are coming to terms with bereavement, separation or may be a young carer.
And the charity is on the lookout for more volunteers who can offer their time to support vulnerable children.
Visit www.friendshipproject.co.uk to find out more.