Volunteers Honoured at Loftus Road for Service to Community
Given VIP treatment, trophies and standing ovation from fans
Five QPR fans were given VIP treatment at Loftus Road to mark their volunteering roles on the club's Community Day.
The five volunteers, who were nominated by fellow supporters as part of the football club’s community programme, the quintet were wined and dined in the directors’ box, then had the best seats in the stadium to see the team beat Rotherham.
At half time there was a standing ovation from 13,000 fans as they were presented with trophies and certificates on the pitch, to thank them for their contributions to community life.
Among those overwhelmed by their reception in the stadium was Julie Wilkins, who’s worked at local hospitals for 40 years and gives up her spare time to help patients with hearing loss, and support her daughter through a chronic illness.
"It was a great honour to be nominated, especially as my family, work and QPR are the things I enjoy in life," said Julie. "It was a fantastic day, and we were looked after really well by all the staff at QPR.
"My work involves the diagnosis of hearing and balance conditions and the subsequent rehabilitation. It is very rewarding to help someone hear again. I am also in charge of the service, and I give extra hours to ensure my service runs smoothly."
Another ‘unsung hero’ was Kevin Smith, a community police officer whose school and youth club workshops warn of the dangers of knife crime, and who also volunteers at Hammersmith BMX Club.
"I really don’t feel like an unsung hero, but what an honour to be one of the chosen few to receive this award, especially from a club I've supported all my life," said Kevin, from the youth office at Shepherds Bush police station.
"My role is very varied, working with young people in H&F, and working closely with the youth offending team, youth workers in local youth clubs and the borough’s three professional football clubs.
"Every school holiday I run Safe Camp at Phoenix Academy for eight to 16-year-olds, which is a free activity camp for young people who live, or go to school in, the borough.
"I also mentor young people, listening to their concerns to see if I can guide them along the right path. My role is very varied and rewarding as I'm giving back to my community I've lived in all my life."
The other three unsung heroes were:
George Sharp, a nine-year-old who came third in the Junior Great South Run, raising £400 for QPR in the Community Trust.
April 18, 2017