Royal recognition for group that helps vulnerable and elderly

Ilkley Good Neighbours were presented with the Duke of York Community Initiative Award at a ceremony in Huddersfield last week.  Pictured from left, are: the Duke of York, chairman Judy Hutton, treasurer Josephine Loughran,   volunteer ShopAssist co-ordinator  Wendy Cubie, and ShopAssist volunteer Malcolm Mitchell. Picture: Simon Dewhurst

Ilkley Good Neighbours were presented with the Duke of York Community Initiative Award at a ceremony in Huddersfield last week. Pictured from left, are: the Duke of York, chairman Judy Hutton, treasurer Josephine Loughran, volunteer ShopAssist co-ordinator Wendy Cubie, and ShopAssist volunteer Malcolm Mitchell. Picture: Simon Dewhurst

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VOLUNTEERS from an Ilkley group which has provided support and companionship for vulnerable and elderly people for over 40 years were given royal recognition when they received an award from the Duke of York.

Ilkley and District Good Neighbours is entirely reliant on volunteers, and runs two main schemes - a befriending service and ShopAssist, which helps people who would otherwise be unable to make it to the supermarket get their shopping.

It was given the Duke of York Community Initiative Award by Prince Andrew himself in a ceremony in Huddersfield last week.

Assessors from the Community Initiative described the group, which was founded in the 1970s, as “a quintessential community support organisation”.

The awards are presented annually to organisations who are seen to be making a very real difference to the communities they serve.

Ilkley Good Neighbours chairman Judy Hutton said the group were “thrilled” to receive Royal recognition.

She said: “I know that I speak for my fellow trustees in saying that we are immensely proud of all our wonderful volunteers, without whom none of our work would be possible. The addition of this Royal accolade will, I hope, spur everyone on to continue to support elderly people maintain their independence.”

As well as befriending and shopping services, the group, which operates in Ilkley, Addingham and Burley in Wharfedale, also organises a annual party for people aged 90 and over, twice yearly excursions to Bolton Abbey, offers help with modest home and garden tasks and providing Christmas Parcels.

As part of the Yorkshire Post’s Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign, we are urging readers to volunteer for services that support lonely or isolated people.

The group is currently in need of befrienders. If you can help, contact Ilkley and District Good Neighbours on 01943 603348 or email info@goodneighbours.ilkley.org

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