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- Decades of dedication see Cheryll Rawbone win 'Local Community Hero' award
Cheryll Rawbone named 'Local Community Hero' for 30-year charity commitment
Cheryll Rawbone, Chairman of Arthur J. Gallagher's Coventry branch, has been recognised as its 2015 ‘Local Community Hero’ for her contribution to children’s charity, The Friendship Project - securing a £1000 donation to further support its invaluable work.
Cheryll was nominated for the internal company award by multiple colleagues and, despite strong competition with more than 100 individuals put forward across the UK, it was felt Cheryll's 29 years of dedication to the charity, enthusiasm and passion to help others set her apart.
The Friendship Project, operating in Coventry & Warwickshire, provides friendship and support to children in need; giving them the opportunity to enjoy activities that many take for granted through a mentoring and friendship programme, whilst developing the child’s self-esteem. Support for a child can often span years and it is estimated that around 1,500 children have been helped since the charity started.
Recent events organised for the children to enjoy have included a visit to the Snowdome in Tamworth, watching the Three Musketeers show at Playbox Theatre (where Cheryll is pictured, centred, with children and cast), plus a visit from Father Christmas.
In 2016, The Friendship Project will be celebrating its 30th anniversary and, without Cheryll and her team, it would not be in existence today and many children in Warwickshire would be living in social isolation.
Cheryll started working with the charity in 1986, after the late founder – one of her clients at the time – asked for administrative help. She soon became the Honorary Secretary – a role she held for 25 years – before becoming Vice Chairman, and then Chairman in 2013. Cheryll was replaced as Honorary Secretary by her fellow Arthur J. Gallagher colleague Valerie Wallace-Burrows, who was able to bring her valuable HR and organisational and administrative skills to the role.
As Chairman, Cheryll continues to have a very hands-on role, juggling her responsibilities at the charity with her job, often working on weekends and evenings. She not only manages the employees, promotes volunteer recruitment and formal aspects, such as guidelines and procedures, but also works tirelessly in fundraising, promotion, and helping with organising events for the children.
Cheryll said of her win: “It is great to receive this award, and for the charity that I have been closely involved with for just over 29 years to benefit from this donation. It will be used to help support interesting and fun visits for the almost 50 disadvantaged children we support in Warwickshire, and will mean approximately 100 visits being possible for disadvantaged children accompanied by our volunteers.
“My thanks to my colleagues for nominating me, and also their ongoing practical help and support for The Friendship Project.”
To find out more about The Friendship Project, to volunteer, or make a donation, please visit www.friendshipproject.co.uk