3 August 2020
A picture of Sanctuary employee receives ‘Unsung Hero’ award from High Sheriff

A community-minded Sanctuary Group employee has received a prestigious ‘Unsung Hero’ award from the High Sheriff of Cornwall.

Alison Olds, Senior Development Manager - South West, was recognised for her selfless efforts to support vulnerable people in her local community during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In March, before lockdown began, Alison set up the Covid-19 Mutual Aid Lizard Peninsula Facebook group with the aim of reaching as many people as possible to offer help, support and kindness.

Alison established a network of co-ordinators and volunteers to help deliver food and essential supplies, collect prescriptions or simply provide a friendly voice to talk to.

She also registered the group with Volunteer Cornwall and worked with parish councils and local radio stations to reach people who may not know about the group and the support available.

As lockdown has eased, Alison has remained in regular contact with a number of vulnerable residents, providing friendship and reassurance.

The High Sheriff presented Alison with her award during a special ceremony in her home village of Mawgan, Cornwall.

Alison said: “When it became clear that lockdown was approaching, I wanted to do everything I could to help. I was concerned about the elderly and vulnerable members of our rural community, and those who may have been facing this uncertain time alone.

“Receiving the award is a lovely surprise but it was a real community effort, and I’m so grateful to everyone who showed their support.”

The High Sheriff of Cornwall, Kate Holborow DL, commented: “The power and positive aspects of social media have really proved themselves during lockdown and I was delighted to present the Unsung Hero award to Alison for the excellent community hub she so effectively created.

“It quickly evolved to offer vital support for struggling families, the isolated, key workers and those shielding. Social media can be a tricky customer and I am so impressed with how Alison keeps the tone so positive, sensible, practical and, above all, kind.”