Witton Lodge volunteer Sharon Haden has been presented with a Community Champion award in recognition of her dedicated and selfless service supporting local people.
The accolade, issued by the Aston Villa Foundation, is reward for Sharon’s tireless efforts helping the elderly and vulnerable across Perry Common, Wyrley Birch and the wider North Birmingham area – especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chantelle Holmes, Project Monitoring and Quality Officer at Witton Lodge, has worked closely with Sharon for the past 18 months and nominated her for the award.
“When the Aston Villa Foundation asked if I knew anyone who could be our Community Champion of 2021 I immediately thought of Sharon and nominated,” she said.
“She has put so much hard work and dedication into helping people across the local community, talking to and reassuring vulnerable, isolated residents with regular befriending calls, supporting Community Watch projects and helping the Friends of Witton Lakes group with activities like Duckling Watch.
“She really excelled during the Covid-19 pandemic. At Christmas she visited residents in their homes and gave them all a festive gift each, prompting many to shower her with thank you cards and chocolates!”
Sharon received her award during a ceremony at Villa Park where she was also given two tickets to attend the club’s recent home game against Southampton, which she attended with her son.
“Sharon is a true asset to Witton Lodge and Perry Common and her passion to help others really needed to be acknowledged,” added Chantelle.
“She thoroughly deserved this award.”
Sharon said she was overwhelmed by the recognition.
“It was a great honour to receive the Aston Villa Foundation’s Community Champion 2021 award,” she said.
“I have been volunteering at Witton Lodge Community Association for over 12 months, and I enjoy what I do so much. Befriending is still so needed by a lot of people as it a way of communicating with those who still feel isolated and vulnerable.
“I am someone who people can talk to and express how they are feeling. And if I can help in any other ways, I do.”