50 Backpacks leader praises award to lockdown helper
- Credit: Wisbech town council
A man who volunteered through the first lockdown to help keep food parcels flowing to the elderly and vulnerable has been recognised with an award.
Stuart Walsh has been given a ‘resilience award’ by the Foyer in Wisbech for his efforts.
Neil Halliday of The Foyer said the award would now be given to any of their residents “who display that quality”.
Stuart was a regular helper through the first lockdown at 50 Backpacks Vision at their temporary support centre that was set up in St Peter’s Hall.
50 Backpacks co-ordinator Simon ‘Spike’ Crowson said Stuart had given them “almost every bit of spare time he had over a three-month period”.
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Stuart helped clean and pack tinned and canned produce donated to the centre.
Mr Crowson said everything was cleaned before being boxed for delivery “to make sure we were not putting the virus into the box”.
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He added: “I am delighted Stuart has been recognised in this way – he deserves it”.
Mr Halliday said the Foyer – a supported housing project in Wisbech - were inspired to launch its resilience awards after being inspired by Stuart’s actions.
He said: “To summarise, in the first lockdown Stuart was furloughed. In that time, he volunteered for a local organisation that was distributing food parcels to the needy.
“He went back to work after lockdown but was then furloughed again following the November lockdown. In this period, he signed himself up for a retail course.
“He then went back to work. On his second week back, we had a snow storm. He biked to work in that snow storm and, in telling staff about it when he returned, was able to laugh at the absurdity of biking in that storm.
“Many of his peers would have just given up. He has achieved a lot in a difficult year and made the most of his ability and time.
“To recognise his behaviour, we have decided to give Stuart the first award.”
Deputy mayor, Cllr Andrew Lynn, presented the Foyer’s first resilience award to Stuart.
“I am honoured to be able to present Stuart with this first award for the truly outstanding resilience displayed.
“We are all very proud of you.”
The award was presented virtually by Cllr Lynn and in person to Stuart by Matt Richardson, manager of the Foyer.