On the 16th of April our volunteers, together with their families and friends, gathered at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham to celebrate Workaid’s 30th Anniversary and see the formal presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey Fletcher.
Sir Henry paid tribute to the army of volunteers and said that in addition to helping people in Africa, Workaid performed a valuable local service. Sir Henry emphasised that The Queen’s Award was only given for “outstanding service” and Workaid now joined only 22 other groups who had earned the award in the County. The award was received by 91-year-old volunteer Frank Cunningham. Sadly, Frank died just two weeks later. Frank is greatly missed by all at Workaid.
How WORKAID helps
The reality of Workaid’s impact in Kenya, was underlined in an address by the Reverend Franklyn Otwoma, an Anglican Parish Priest in a slum area of Nairobi, who described how the supply of sewing machines by Workaid had transformed the lives of women who had previously eked out a living on a rubbish tip on the outskirts of the city.
By learning dressmaking skills they could now support their families. Workaid helped real people with real lives and had made a great difference to thousands of Kenyans. Guest speaker, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said that Workaid was very special and had touched and changed the lives of thousands in Africa over the past 30 years. He stressed the need to provide technical support to the women of Africa, and to continue to keep the Christian vision which had inspired Workaid.
To round off the event, the audience of nearly 300 enjoyed an amazing display of exuberant African music and dance by One Drum, which had them on their feet, and even some on the stage!