A DEDICATED volunteer got the surprise of her life as she received the prestigious ‘Volunteer of the Year’ accolade at the Saddleworth Parish Council annual awards.
Jenny Begley, 70, had not planned to attend the event at the Greenfield Conservative Club this year but was persuaded by husband Keith.
After a scrumptious three-course meal from Ravenstone Catering, unsuspecting Jenny was announced as the award winner for her hard work for the community over almost 20 years.
She said: “I am amazed and delighted to win this and had no idea.
“Keith got a phone call a few weeks ago to persuade him to come as they said the winner would want support – but he didn’t let on it was me!”
Jenny began volunteering in 1997 after finishing full-time work as a PE teacher, and has been involved in numerous aspects of Delph life as well as across Saddleworth.
She is a founder member of Wake Up Delph, current treasurer of Delph Senior Citizens and Delph Wives, runs a keep fit class for the elderly and organises fundraisers for Saddleworth Museum.
She is also heavily involved with Saddleworth Players, Delph OAP Lunch Club and Delph library, among other commitments.
To recognise her contribution, Jenny was presented with a glittering trophy by Cllr Bill Cullen, who was standing in for chairman Cllr Enid Firth who had been taken ill.
Cllr Cullen said: “There was a long list of candidates but one person really stood out from the others. The work they have done forms a very long list.
“The award for Jenny is very well deserved and the nominations she received were glowing.
“Particularly with so many cuts, volunteers like Jenny help to keep many groups going or things just don’t happen.
“She has shown overwhelming desire and commitment to help the people of Saddleworth.”
The event culminated with a hearty sing-a-long to old-time favourites led by Michael Hall, and a raffle in aid of the Saddleworth Parish Council’s Chairman’s chosen charities.