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National Volunteer of the Year is one of ours

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Sep, 2020 11:37 AM

A 93 year old Warminster parishioner, who has been supporting the Children's Society since a young girl, has become the Society's National Volunteer of the Year.

National Volunteer of the Year is one of ours

Gill Ford with Joyce Sweet and Margaret Moon

Joyce Sweet of the Warminster Fundraising Committee for the Children’s Society was presented with her award by Regional Relationship Manager Gill Ford.

Gill explains:

"I had the pleasure today of visiting Joyce, only my 3rd in person meeting since lockdown! It was a delight to see her again and spend time, socially distanced, in the church garden.

"I haven’t seen Joyce for many months due to Covid to arrange to present her with her sanitised trophy for winning The Children’s Society National Volunteer Award."

Joyce was delighted to receive the award and she humbly says:

“Thank you so much, but this award really belongs to Warminster Minster, its parishioners and the Fundraising committee who have been so generous and supportive over all these years.”

Gill says:

“If anyone deserves an award for their contribution to helping vulnerable children then Joyce does, her commitment over her entire lifetime is an inspiration!”

Joyce’s nephew was adopted through TCS, and this was her main motivator for continuing her work for the Society that started in her childhood, when she would help her mum with the Children's Society fundraising stall.

Joyce ambitiously took on a much bigger role as a Box Co-ordinator when someone casually asked her, "Do you know what I do with my full home collecting box?" Joyce realised that there was no one collecting and so she began with 7 boxes. This has grown to 66 box holders.

Joyce went on to form the Warminster Committee in 1985 and, year on year, is the prime mover, chairing the committee since its inception 34 years ago. £34,000 has been raised since Joyce formed the committee.

While Joyce maintains this is a team effort, she is widely acknowledged as the 'glue that holds the Committee together' and as driving the fundraising activity.

The committee has a busy calendar of activities, with the main activity being the house boxes with over 60 boxes raising over £1,000 each year.

Even now, as Joyce is reluctantly having to step down, she apologetically says that she no longer can 'pull her weight'! Joyce has pulled more than her weight for decades, is an example to us all and she continues to exceed expectations by even recruiting her successor, Carole Owen, as the new chair to ensure that the committee will continue in safe hands.

Obviously the committee’s main activities have had to cease for the time being but the work with vulnerable children has not ceased.

The coronavirus crisis has put vulnerable children in even more danger. Lockdown means they are hidden from view and trapped at home, at risk of abuse and neglect and without the vital support they need, trying to cope with their worries, fears and worsening mental health on their own.

Donations help front-line staff deliver vital care packages, provide urgent support and advice, and arrange life-changing emergency responses for children in imminent danger.

If you would like more information on the Children’s Society, visit or email .

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