Dedication of Lichfield shop volunteers earns them national Cancer Research UK awards

Two Lichfield volunteers have received awards for the efforts to support Cancer Research UK.

Ena Lincoln, 76, and Sarah Dryhurst, 49, were named honorary fellows at the charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards.

The honour was in recognition of their dedication over a number of years, notching up 37 years between them at the Lichfield Cancer Research UK shop.

Ena Lincoln with her award

Ena Lincoln with her award

Ena began volunteering in 1995 after losing her husband and sister to cancer.

“I get as much out of volunteering as I give,” she said. “I enjoy it so much. After losing my husband to cancer, it was the best reason for getting up in the morning.

“I enjoyed receiving the award. It was a very special day”.

Sarah, who lost her father to cancer, became a volunteer in 2002 after moving to Lichfield, and it was a turning point for herin more ways than one.

Having suffered long-term health issues after a car accident in her twenties, Sarah felt well enough to volunteer and has continued to do so despite needing on-going treatment as a result of her injuries.

An electrical engineer before giving up her career in the nineties, she has been able to use her extensive knowledge of computers and books in the store.

“I enjoy helping at the shop, meeting people and making friends,” she said. “Sometimes you feel almost guilty for getting so much back from giving your time.

“Volunteering gave me my life back after my accident. It even helped me to feel well enough to have my son, who is now 12.”

Sarah, whose husband was recently diagnosed with cancer, added: “The support I get in the shop is like having another family.

Sarah Dryhurst with her award

Sarah Dryhurst with her award

They go through life with you.”

The pair were nominated by shop manager Leigh Taylor.

She said: “They are amazing.

“Ena has been a tour-de-force for Cancer Research UK. She volunteers two days each week but can often be found on other days sorting and pricing stock. It is a relief to know she is only a phone call away when we are lucky enough to be inundated with donations.

“A keen gardener, she often grows extra plants for sale at the shop – and the cakes and biscuits she bakes are appreciated by volunteers and customers alike.

“Sarah is now our technical support, often attending training to ensure she is up to date with new technology.

“She is also often found under a pile of books, ensuring everything is in its proper place and fundraises in a variety of ways, including through her son’s primary school and local scout troop and special book sales.

“Always willing to help, Sarah once walked through deep snow to make sure the shop opened on time when I was delayed by bad weather.”

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