Samaritans volunteer wins Telegraph's Volunteer of the Year award

On 17 September, Swindon and District Samaritans volunteer, Elizabeth Ewart, was named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ by the Telegraph.

Mother-of-two, Liz, from Wanborough, was nominated by members of her local community and received her award from Mayor Boris Johnson at the Team London ceremony at City Hall.

Liz first started her voluntary work five years ago, after being diagnosed with cancer.  She gave up work as an accountant, while undergoing treatment, and started to get involved in volunteering.

My diagnosis made me reassess my life. I decided to join Samaritans because I experienced extreme anxiety when I had cancer, and wanted to help ease that anxiety in other people.

Volunteering at Samaritans is something Liz thoroughly enjoys and says her fellow volunteers, who come from all walks of life, are very supportive.

As well as volunteering for Samaritans, Elizabeth runs sessions for residents in an old people’s home and spends an evening a week supporting troubled teenagers.

At Samaritans, I have answered some very moving calls which have inspired me to want to help young people.  It seemed that every time I got involved with one voluntary project, it led on to another.

The judges for the Volunteer of the Year award included former minister, Ann Widdecombe and presenter, Martyn Lewis.