National award for ‘Great-gran-nan’ Vera

Vera Clarke has won a volunteers award at the Redwood Centre, Haywards Heath. Pic Steve Robards
Vera Clarke has won a volunteers award at the Redwood Centre, Haywards Heath. Pic Steve Robards

Vera Clarke’s friendly voice at the end of a telephone and her willingness to help has been rewarded with a national Age UK award.

Vera, 85, has been a volunteer at Age UK’s Redwood Centre in Haywards Heath for eighteen years and works five days a week on reception.

Everyone knows and loves her and centre manager Donna Parker has virtually adopted her as part of her own family.

Vera is a widow and has no children of her own so she spends every Christmas with Donna.

“My family love her,” said Donna. “They call her Great-gran-nan!

“Vera is so considerate and thoughtful. When she heard about her award she said ‘I’m so pleased for the Redwood Centre’ - that’s typical of Vera.

“She always puts others before herself.”

Vera is now the proud owner of an Age UK Volunteer Champion Award and is one of eight people chosen for the accolade out of a field of 85 candidates.

Last month, she went to London to pick up her prize at a special Age UK ball and was excited to meet Paul Ross and a host of other stars at the ceremony.

Donna said: “Congratulations and thank-you Vera. We couldn’t do without you.”

The Redwood Centre off Perrymount Road, runs a host of activities for older people such as keep fit classes, and provides lunches. For information call 01444 450248 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/westsussex