Inspirational volunteer celebrates 5000 hours of volunteering

One of the Wimbledon Guild’s most popular volunteers is celebrating two milestones this week – her 50th birthday and clocking up more than 5,000 hours of volunteering.

Noreen Sheridan, who has Down’s Syndrome, is a valued member of the team, where she holds a special place in the hearts of customers and staff.

Staff say she has made an ‘outstanding’ contribution and have nominated her for the Merton Community Awards.

For the last nine years, she has been working part-time alongside the café staff and other volunteers and has never missed a day, apart from holidays.

Wimbledon Guild’s Head of Social Welfare Jane Platts first got to know Noreen through her previous job as a social worker. When Jane moved to Wimbledon Guild, she encouraged Noreen to become a volunteer. Jane said: “As a local social welfare charity, we rely heavily on the support of our volunteers to help us help others throughout Merton.While we appreciate the efforts of every single one of our volunteers, the contribution made by Noreen is outstanding for a number of reasons.”

Noreen travels from her home in Carshalton, where she lives with a small group of other people who have learning disabilities in a supported living environment, to work two days a week in the café.

Her duties range from prepping veg in the kitchen to serving orders to customers, clearing tables and helping with other duties. But it is her kindness and care for others that have made her one of the most popular members of the café team.

Sadly, Noreen knows little about her early life, having spent most of her childhood in care. Jane added; “Working in the café as part of the team and helping the customers really is the highlight of Noreen’s week – it gives her a reason to get up in the morning. Everyone at Wimbledon Guild thinks the world of her and we hope she has a wonderful birthday.”

Noreen celebrates her 50th birthday on Thursday, September 15 - happy birthday from all of us at MVSC!!