Photography by Harry Potts
Barbara Heywood is a volunteer who has given her time and skills to good causes for more than 60 years. She recently received a Platinum Champions Award by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), presided over by The Duchess of Cornwall. Barbara is currently a volunteer at Emmaus Mossley which supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home, work, companionship and individual support.
Born in Rotherham, Yorkshire in 1946, Barbara moved to Oldham in 1961. As a teenager she began her voluntary work in the Girlguiding movement as a badge tester, district commissioner and became a Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) advisor for Guide County and then Guides in North West England. During her career as a teacher, Barbara ran DofE as voluntary award committee secretary and later as Award officer for Oldham LEA.
Barbara at Emmaus Mossley
Volunteering gives structure to your week, it keeps you out and about, builds friendships and can be enjoyable.
Barbara has been a volunteer at Emmaus Mossley, East Manchester since 2011. Speaking about her award, she said: “This award was a lovely surprise and really, I receive it on behalf of all the dedicated volunteers who see a job and get it done. I don’t think I’m exceptional and know a lot of other people who do amazing work for good causes. I get as much from volunteering at Emmaus than I give, if not more. It’s my happy place!
Don’t spectate on life, get stuck in!
Barbara with Emmaus President, Terry Waite
Barbara also currently volunteers at Oldham Baptist Church as a church deacon.