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Photography by Harry Potts

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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.

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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!

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Barbara with Emmaus President, Terry Waite

Barbara also currently volunteers at Oldham Baptist Church as a church deacon.

THE SHOOT: Emmaus Mossley, East Manchester

In the second hand superstore of the charity that offers a home, work and support to a community of 26 formerly homeless people

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