Pride of Bury Community Hero Award 2017

President Colin Williams wins Pride of Bury Community Hero Award 2017

President Colin Williams (right) with fellow FCF worker Michael Catlow receives Pride of Bury Community Hero Award 2017

The nomination stated:

Colin Williams

I am nominating Colin Williams for the Community Hero category of The Pride of Bury Awards 2017 because I believe that he has made a real difference to the lives of many families in Bury.

In December 2015 Colin received an urgent plea from a Social Worker in Bury. Colin is President of Bury Rotary Club and the Social Worker contacted him via their web site. It was a few days before Christmas and a six year old child didn’t have a bed to sleep in. Another family was in urgent need of a cooker. These requests got Colin thinking that there must be many other families in Bury in such desperate need. Colin brought these issues to the attention of Bury Rotary Club and this led to him starting the Family Crisis Fund (FCF).

The Family Crisis Fund now works closely with Welfare Services in Bury to provide support for local families in temporary difficulty by providing essential household furniture and appliances, For example, Social Workers contact Colin when an item is needed and he then tries to fulfil their request by purchasing new, second hand or donated items. Such items include beds, tables, chairs, chests of drawers, cookers and fridges. Items are purchased from charity shops, eBay or Ikea. Sometimes Rotary members donate items. Electrical goods are tested before delivery and where bedding is required new items are purchased. These are then provided free of charge to families living through difficult and stressful situations.

Examples of the families supported include those suffering serious illness and unable to work, people fleeing domestic abuse and trying to set up a new home and many others in temporary crisis situations and requiring urgent help. The Family Crisis Fund that Colin has established helps people to overcome these situations and to move forward with their lives.

Colin puts in many, many hours liaising with social workers, purchasing items, arranging to meet the appropriate social worker at the property and then delivering items to families in need usually using his own transport. Items are often bulky and heavy and are delivered with the help of a fellow Bury Rotarian, Michael Catlow.

All of the families helped fall just outside of the long term benefits system and are in desperate situations due to misfortune, domestic abuse, sickness or bereavement. Colin’s initiative in identifying such a need, setting up the Family Crisis Fund and his tireless work obtaining and delivering items has hopefully helped many people through some of the worst times of their lives. Any of us through illness, misfortune or bereavement could find ourselves in a desperate situation where a helping hand is all that’s needed to get our lives back on track. I think that Colin is a real Bury Hero.

Colin is wonderful gentlemen. Kind, generous, helpful, understanding, caring and most importantly thinks of others before himself (including always paying tribute to the support of other Bury Rotarians). He gives up his free time (could be as much as full week’s worth) for families during times of crisis in the community of Bury. We never know when someone we know or even ourselves may need help from someone like Colin.

I am very proud to know Colin and he inspires me every day.

 

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