Press release: Darlington Samaritan is a Diamond Champion

A local Samaritans volunteer was one of 80 people to be named a Diamond Champion for their outstanding voluntary work in the community.

Norma Bain, Diamond Champion Norma Bain, 80, from Darlington Samaritans, was nominated by her fellow volunteer, Liz McAllister and has just received a Diamond Pin at Auckland Castle in recognition of her dedication to the charity.

Image: Norma (middle), with Denise Robertson, author and Agony Aunt (right), and presenter of the meeting Chris Graham, head of WRVS services in the North East and Cumbria (left).

Not only does Norma give unaccountable hours of her time every month to support people going through a tough time, she also recruits and trains new volunteers.

The Diamond Champion scheme, supported by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall recognises the contribution that people over the age of 60 make to volunteering to improve the lives of others around them.  
Norma and nine other Diamond Champion nominees from the North East were selected to join 80 other Champions from other regions to meet Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at a special event on Thursday 29 November at St. James’ Palace.

Norma said: “It was a huge surprise to receive the Diamond Pin and an honour to meet The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. It was also lovely to meet Denise Robertson who presented me with my Pin. I hope this gives Samaritans the boost in public awareness it deserves, both locally and nationally.”

Liz McAllister, Director of Darlington Samaritans said: “Norma is an outstanding volunteer. When she gives recruitment talks, her down-to-earth demeanour helps give potential volunteers the feeling that becoming a Samaritan is well within their capabilities. Her sheer enthusiasm shines out. She is a wonderful advocate for our work in the local community and a true Diamond Samaritan.”

Stephen Hoddell, Chair of Samaritans said: “Congratulations to Norma on receiving the Diamond Pin. This level of enthusiasm is one that the many other thousands of our volunteers share, supporting people struggling to cope. On behalf of the whole charity, I thank Norma for her tireless work.”

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For more information about the work of Samaritans, please contact Samaritans’ press office: Claire Duncan on 020 8394 8345 or email