Coronation awards joy for Connect Fermanagh volunteer Caroline Storey

 

An outstanding volunteer for local befriending service, Connect Fermanagh, has been recognised by Their Majesties The King and The Queen as part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.


Caroline Storey who volunteers with telephone befriending service Connect Fermanagh has been recognised for her contribution and crowned one of 500 Coronation Champions. This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.

 


(L-R) Caroline Storey Connect Fermanagh volunteer and Coronation Champion with Sonya Johnston Deputy Director of Fermanagh Trust.


Connect Fermanagh has been improving the social and emotional well-being of people throughout the county since April 2020, established by local grant making charity the Fermanagh Trust in response to the pandemic. To date the service has supported over 200 individuals thanks to a team of 30 volunteers who make weekly telephone calls. Calls from volunteers are supportive and light-hearted and help those who receive a call feel more connected to their community and know that they are not alone.


Caroline impressed judges with her passion in reaching out to those isolated in the community as well as being an inspiration to others. Her story, what she could achieve from her own home and the difference she has made to people’s lives has encouraged others, who wouldn’t normally consider volunteering, to get involved with various community programmes. Caroline is so committed to the charity, she has become of member of the Board of Connect Fermanagh, currently acting as Treasurer. 


With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.


All Coronation Champions, including Caroline have been invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations. They have also received a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.


Commenting on becoming a Coronation Champion, Caroline Storey said “It’s an honour to be named a Coronation Champion. As a volunteer with Connect Fermanagh, those people that I phone really seem to enjoy just having somebody different to talk to, who reassures them and tells them they are not alone. I have stage 5 kidney disease  and dialysis at home 3 times a week. I make my calls whilst on dialysis, so it makes the time go faster for me and I also enjoy a chat too. Something so simple that makes such a difference to those feeling isolated and alone. It’s heart-warming to have my volunteering efforts recognised.”


If you feel you may benefit from the Connect Fermanagh service or if you know of anyone who would, do get in touch. Also contact if you would be interested in helping provide short term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness tel: 028 66 320 230 / email: info@connectfermanagh.org. No need to feel alone, the Connect Fermanagh team are there to talk and help in any way they can. Their website for more information is www.connectfermanagh.org


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