Norman clocks up two decades of volunteering

THANKS  Norman Young, third from right, joins fellow winners at Gosport's awards evening. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131508-7350)
THANKS Norman Young, third from right, joins fellow winners at Gosport's awards evening. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (131508-7350)
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KIND-HEARTED Norman Young loves giving up his time for others.

Now the 85-year-old has been awarded a certificate because he has spent 20 years as a volunteer for national armed forces charity SSAFA.

Norman, who lives in Gosport, helps the charity to provide support for people in the armed forces.

If families are finding it hard when their loved ones are away on duty then Norman and his team will offer some help.

Volunteers go round to visit to check on the person, and if finances are tight then funding is arranged.

The charity also checks up on ex-serving personnel.

Norman stood down as chairman of the local committee four months ago and is now an advisor.

Norman was given his prize during a ceremony in the Council Chamber at Town Hall, in High Street, Gosport.

The event, which saw other volunteers pick up awards, was held in celebration of the work they do.

The Mayor, Councillor John Beavis MBE, led the presentation.

Norman, who was a submariner for 20 years, said: ‘It’s always rewarding to get an award like that.

‘When I retired I thought, I don’t want to sit in the chair and watch TV all day.

‘I found this group and they put me on a course which got me started.

‘Being a volunteer is great for you and for the people you help.

‘You get no end of satisfaction helping people.

‘If families are in desperate need of funds then we can give them limited funds to keep them going.

‘One of the cases I had involved a naval steward based in Gibraltar.

‘His wife was having twins and had some problems and needed treatment at a hospital in Oxford. I picked her up afterwards and brought her back to accommodation in Rowner.’

Norman raised money for SSAFA when he trekked up The Himalayas, and walked part of The Great Wall of China and The Nubian Desert.

Norman is a huge supporter of Volunteers’ Week, which finishes today. The campaign, which is in its 29th year, raises the profile of volunteers and gives people the chance to say thanks.

‘These days, volunteers save the government a lot of money,’ Norman said.

‘They put a lot of time into looking after people. It’s nice that there is a team in the year where people say thank-you.

‘The importance for SSAFA is looking after service families.’