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Volunteer hero honoured with town hall celebration after 48 years of helping others

27 January 2017

Vera Hirst with the Mayor of Rochdale.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A volunteer who has devoted 48 years of her life to helping others has been given a civic commendation from Rochdale Borough Council and th​e Mayor.​​

Vera Hirst, 93, first began volunteering during World War Two and joined the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) in 1969.

She has devoted many years of her life to Age UK, the User Carer Forum, and was heavily involved with the Rochdale Counselling Service.

Vera was until recently chair of the Dignity in Care Award and hopes to start volunteering at Springhill Hospice soon.

For many years she was involved with the Littleborough Old People's Welfare Group until it closed and remains part of the Rochdale Pensioners' Association.

Vera, from Littleborough, enjoys sport, which she played a lot in earlier years, and also has a keen interest in art.

She said: "I would encourage anyone to volunteer, it is so wonderful. The commitment makes you realise that although you may not have a privileged life, you're very grateful for what you've got, which is important."

Councillor Ray Dutton, the Mayor of Rochdale, said: "Vera is an inspiration. She has helped so many people in our borough – she encapsulates everything that is so great about Rochdale and its fantastic people."

Council leader Richard Farnell said: "Meeting people like Vera is an honour. Her devotion to helping others as a volunteer is magnificent and we are all really proud of her and grateful for the contribution she has made to our borough."​