Top volunteers are honoured


The contribution of volunteers who cumulatively devote 22,000 hours annually to Leeds Jewish Welfare Board were celebrated at an awards tea thrown by the charity.

At the tea, chief executive Liz Bradbury told more than 100 of its 250 volunteers that a yardstick of any community was the way it supported its most vulnerable. Empathy was an important quality for a volunteer, "an ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and feel what they must feel".

Through their daily efforts, "someone will have a friend and enjoy a conversation, someone will have been served a meal with care and compassion and someone else will know there is at least one person in the world who cares".

There was special recognition for Brian Plartus, an integral member of the volunteering team for 54 years.

Olivia Hirst was the top young volunteer. Awards presenter Philippa Lester said she had shown "a true dedication to the organisation, developing a class for people with learning difficulties and expanding it - always with a smile on her face".

For new Leeds Lord Mayor Councillor Gerry Harper and Lady Mayoress Lynne Scholes, it was their first Jewish community function. Praising the volunteers, Councillor Harper said "Leeds is blessed by people who are quite willing to go out and support others who can't in many cases support themselves".

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