Audrey is a real diamond

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Audrey Carlin (69), from Morton, has been recognised as a ‘Diamond Champion’ after being nominated for the award by fellow members of the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Tinnitus Support Group.

Audrey will receive a special pin and certificate at a special reception in Birmingham, where the 10 Diamond Champions will be chosen to attend a royal reception hosted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

An official Diamond Jubilee project, Diamond Champions is run by WRVS, the charity which supports older people, but any volunteers over 60 could be nominated for any kind of volunteering for any organisation, or for informal volunteering.

Audrey’s nomination read: “Audrey helped establish the Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Tinnitus Support Group in 1986. Although experiencing tinnitus herself, she has helped and supported people over the years to manage their tinnitus, producing a regular newsletter and always being there for those who desperately need support.”

“Now retired, Audrey devotes much of her time developing the support group, producing her newsletter, answering helpline calls and lay-counselling.

“Audrey goes that extra mile as many people contact her at home in the evenings and weekends.

“Without her there would not be a support group and many people would not have been able to break the dangerous spiral of anxiety and depression caused by tinnitus.”

Said David Stockdale, chief executive of the British Tinnitus Association: “Diamond Champions is all about celebrating the contribution that people over the age of 60 make to their communities through volunteering.

“Our network of groups and contacts would be greatly impoverished if it were not for the great work our older volunteers, such as Audrey, do on a regular basis.

“It is a pleasure to see this work acknowledged not only by those she works so hard to help but the wider community.”

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have supported the campaign, saying: “We are both delighted to be Patrons of the WRVS’ national search for Diamond Champions.

“In this Diamond Jubilee year, we wanted to seek out and celebrate the contribution of the older generation who, often unsung and unnoticed, help to improve life for others in their communities.

“It is these people who, by their acts of kindness and selfless giving, make a real difference to those less fortunate and who are, we believe, a vital part of what makes the United Kingdom a civilised and caring society. Of course, modern life brings many challenges and difficulties, but neighbourliness, friendship and a helping hand in times of need cost nothing and yet are invaluable and timeless.”